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With a foreword by JOHN STEINBECK 






Hunois History and 



Adlai Stevenson 

With a Foreword by 


and a 

Brief Biography of 





Copyright, 1952, by Random House, Inc. 

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions 

Published in New York by Random House, Inc., and simultaneously 

in Toronto, Canada, by Random House of Canada, Limited 

This book was prepared under the 

editorial supervision of 

Richard Harrity 

Manufactured in the United States of America 




Foreword by John Steinbeck 5 

A Brief Biography of Adlai Stevenson by Debs Myers 
and Ralph Martin 9 

Welcoming Address democratic national convention 15 

Speech of Acceptance democratic national convention 18 

The Need for a Change denver, Colorado 22 

On Political Morality los angeles, California 28 

World Policy 




Labor Policy 



Farm Policy kasson, Minnesota 64 

Social Security flint, Michigan 71 

The People's Natural Resources Seattle, Washington 74 

The Veteran new york city 80 

The New South Richmond, vdrginia 85 

The Atomic Future hartford, Connecticut 92 

On Communism albuquerque, new mexico 98 

The One-Party Press Portland, oregon 101 

Campaign Issues phoenix, Arizona 106 

Korea louisville, Kentucky 112 

Questions and Answers Portland, oregon 119 

The Control of Inflation Baltimore, Maryland 121 

. . . The task is yours. Yours is a democracy. Its government cannot be 
stronger or more tough-minded than its people. It cannot be more 
inflexibly committed to the task than they. It cannot be wiser than 
the people. 

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the 
lawgivers and the law abiding, the beginning and the end. Democracy 
is a high privilege, but it is also a heavy responsibility whose shadow 
stalks, although you may never walk in the sun. 

I say these things to you, not only because I believe them to be 
true, but also because, as you love your country, I love my country, and 
I would see it endure and grow in light and become a living testament 
to all mankind of goodness and of mercy and of wisdom. 

How long can we keep up the fight against this monster tyranny? 
How long can we keep on fighting in Korea, paying high taxes, help- 
ing others to help ourselves? There is only one answer— we can keep 
it up as long as we have to, and we will. 

That's why we cannot lose and we will pass from darkness to the 
dawn of a brighter day than ever this priceless land of ours has known 


Chicago, Illinois, September 29, 1952 



When I first met Mr. Roosevelt he had been President for some time. 
I said, "Mr. President, I'm one American who doesn't want a Gov- 
ernment job." 

He laughed and said, "In my experience, you're the only one." 

Mr. Stevenson, I still don't want a Government job. 

A year and a half ago, I had never heard of Mr. Stevenson. A 
year ago I knew his name and only remembered it because of the un- 
usual first name. Until the convention I had never heard nor read a 
Stevensonian word. And now we hurry through dinner to hear him 
on radio or to see him on television. We fight over the morning paper 
with the "full text." And I can't remember ever reading a political 
speech with pleasure— sometimes with admiration, yes, but never 
with pleasure. 

I was in Europe at convention time. Europe was, as nearly as we 
could tell, pretty solidly behind Eisenhower. So was I, as solid as pos- 
sible. Then gradually the newspapers in France and England and 
Italy began to print remarks by a man named Stevenson, first a 
phrase, then a sentence, then a paragraph. When I left England very 
recently nearly every newspaper was printing a daily Stevenson box 
on the front page. Europe has switched to Stevenson. So have I. And 
I have been drawn only by his speeches. They are unique in my ex- 
perience and from the reaction of the audiences— and I have only 
seen them on television— the speeches are a new experience to every- 
one. The listeners set up no hullabaloo. The speaker is never can- 
celed out by emotional roars of inattentive applause. People seem to 
resent applause because in the noise they might miss something. I've 
read that the meetings are quiet because the audiences are not moved. 
Then I've watched them leaning forward, their eyes never leaving 
the speaker's face and turning irritably toward any distraction. They're 
listening, all right, listening as an audience does to fine theatre or fine 
music or fine thinking. 

It is one of our less admirable traits that we always underrate 
the intelligence of the "people." The speaker never includes himself 
as one of the "people." It is always those others. The story is told of a 
movie producer who argued that people would not understand a 



part of a film he was previewing. His nine-year-old boy spoke up, 
saying, "Dad, I understand it." 

The producer whirled on him and shouted, "We are not making 
pictures for nine-year-old boys." 

Now I read in the opposition press that Stevenson is talking over 
the heads of the people. I have read the speeches not once but sev- 
eral times. The words are small and direct, the ideas are clear. I can 
understand them and I don't think I am more intelligent than the so- 
called "people." I have come to the conclusion that the fear in Steven- 
son's opponents is not that the people don't understand him, but that 
they do. 

Throughout our whole history we have been in favor of humor. 
To be against humor was like being against mother love. But I read 
now that humor has been made an official sin. Anything effective is a 
sin to your opponent. Traditionally, political humor has followed a 
pattern. The speaker made a joke which had been carefully inspected 
to see that it had nothing whatever to do with the subject he in- 
tended to discuss. The flat little joke got a titter of laughter and the 
speaker knew that his audience was warmed up. He flopped without 
transition into the body of his speech, hoping that for a few sentences 
his listeners would still be listening for another joke. Audiences are 
pretty clever, though, and they rarely fall for this method. 

Stevenson has changed the technique. He draws his humor from 
his subject. His jokes, far from obscuring his message, enlighten it. 
This makes him doubly dangerous to an opponent, for his listeners 
not only listen, they remember and they repeat. I don't recall any 
other speeches that have made people unsatisfied with a digest. We 
want the thing in the man's own words. 

Being a writer, I have had a bit of trouble here and there, and it 
has been my experience that when I have been accused of some par- 
ticularly gaudy sin, my accuser has felt some kind of knife and is 
striking back. I can understand why the opposition hates Mr. Stevenson's 
humor. They are very busy licking their wounds. In our whole political 
history I can recall only one man who used humor effectively. That 
was Abraham Lincoln and he, too, was excoriated by his opponents. 
In his time also humor was a sin. 

There is a further devastating effect of the Stevensonian speech, 
which his opponents cannot admit. He makes their efforts sound so ill 
conceived, clumsily thought out and dull. The weighty sarcasms, moral 
indignations, the flaggy patriotisms and dingy platitudes which have 
been perfectly good in other elections are covered with gray dust in 
this year. It is very hard to follow a great act with a Minsky blackout. 

Now and then in a group the question arises, Does Stevenson write 
his own speeches? I don't know, but as a writer I know that only one 
man writes those speeches. There may be people working on ideas and 


organization and so forth, but I am sure that either Stevenson writes 
every word of the speeches or some other one man writes every word of 
them. Individuality is in every line. I don't think it could be imitated. 

I have dwelt only on Mr. Stevenson's speeches because that is all 
I know about the man. There are only four approaches in knowing a 
man. What does he look like? What has he done? What does he say— in 
other words think— and, last and most important, as a conditioner— 
what has he done to or for me? 

I know Mr. Stevenson only from pictures of him, from reading his 
history and from his speeches. I was for Eisenhower, knew about him 
and liked him. I did not switch to Stevenson because of physical appear- 
ance, surely. Neither candidate is any great shucks in that department. 
I could not have changed on a basis of past achievements because 
Eisenhower's contribution is second to none in the world and certainly 
overshadows the record of the Governor of Illinois, no matter how good 
it may have been. I have switched entirely because of the speeches. 

A man cannot think muddled and write clear. Day by day it has 
seemed to me that Eisenhower's speeches have become more formless 
and mixed up and uncertain. I don't know why this is. Maybe he is 
being worried and mauled by too many dissident advisers who in 
fighting each other are destroying their candidate. Eisenhower seems 
like a punch-drunk fighter who comes out of his corner on wavery legs 
and throws his first punch at the referee. Again, Eisenhower seems to 
have lost the ability to take any kind of stand on any subject. We're 
pretty sure that he still favors children or dogs but that maybe he would 
like the states to take them over, too— anything to avoid making a deci- 
sion. He is rather firm on those issues which are still handled by the 
Deity and he has a sense of relief that this is so. 

Stevenson, on the other hand, has touched no political, economic, 
or moral subject on which he has not taken a clear and open stand even 
to the point of bearding selfish groups to their faces. 

I do not know, but I can imagine the pressures on candidates for 
the Presidency. They must be dreadful, but they must be equally 
dreadful for both candidates. With equal pressures we have seen in a 
pitiful few months the Eisenhower mind crumble into uncertainty, 
retire into generalities, fumble with friendships and juggle alliances. At 
the same time Stevenson has moved serenely on, clarifying his position, 
holding to his line and never being drawn nor driven from his non- 
generalized ideals. 

And if the pressures on a candidate are powerful, how much more 
so must they be on a President? I find I am for the man I think can take 
the pressures best and can handle them without split loyalties, expe- 
dient friendships or dead animals— cats or albatrosses. In a word I think 
Stevenson is more durable, socially, politically and morally. Neither 
candidate has or is likely to do anything to or for me personally. And I 


can't hurt or help either of them. As a writer I love the clear, clean 
writing of Stevenson. As a man I like his intelligent, humorous, logical, 
civilized mind. And I strongly suspect what we can't possibly know 
until November. Americans are real mean when they go behind that 
voting-booth curtain. But I suspect there are millions just like me who 
have switched to Stevenson as the greater man and as potentially the 
greater President. 

A Brief Biography 
of Adlai Stevenson 


In their lifetime, people had never seen a man just 
like him. 

Here's a man who says in Virginia what he says 
in Harlem. 

Here's a man who threw away the fat, empty 
words of the politicians and drew out of himself 
words that moved men in the way of Jefferson and 
Lincoln and Wilson and Roosevelt. 

Four years ago Adlai E. Stevenson was a political 
unknown seeking his first elective office. A year ago 
he was only slightly known outside Illinois, where 
he had made a reputation as a crusading Governor. 
Today he commands an almost unique place in 
American history— he is one of the few men ever 
drafted to run for the Presidency. 

Many persons consider Stevenson, next to Win- 
ston Churchill, the finest political orator of our time. 
He has a confident platform manner, a gift for 
striking language and he delivers the speeches 
which he writes himself in a warm, resonant voice 
with an accent which blends his prairie heritage 
with his Eastern schooling. 

In appearance, Stevenson is of medium height, 
with a perceptive face and a quick, easy smile. He 
is becoming bald and his nose is slightly twisted, 
the result of a boyhood fight long ago. 

In his personal habits, Stevenson eats sparingly 
and smokes cigarettes moderately. He plays golf 
and tennis and rides horseback when he can. He 
likes to dress informally; a favorite item in his 
wardrobe is an old pair of golf shoes with the 
spikes removed. 

While he was born a Democrat, he includes in 
his family tree numerous outstanding Republicans. 

"If it's true that politics is the art of compromise," 
he says, "I've had a good start. My mother was a 
Republican and a Unitarian, my father was a Dem- 
ocrat and a Presbyterian. I wound up in his party 
and her church." 

On the surface, it was the same old convention 
scene; the blaring band, the milling delegates roar- 
ing a mighty welcome, the candidate on the ros- 
trum, waving and making the V-sign. Then, as Adlai 
Stevenson began to speak, the great hall became 
hushed; under the white glare of the television 
lights, the prairie Governor from the Lincoln coun- 
try introduced a new mood in American politics. 

There was sadness in the speech and humor and 

It was an intimate, quiet kind of oratory, free of 
spellbinding and bombast; on this hot July night, 
in the sprawling Chicago amphitheatre, he re- 
flected the confidence of a man who has reached a 
great decision. The inner turmoil was over; now 
he was ready to go before the people. 

People called him a "prairie Franklin Roosevelt," 
and a "Woodrow Wilson with warmth." Every- 
where people wanted to know why it had taken the 
country so long to discover Adlai E. Stevenson. 

Suddenly people wanted to know a lot of things 
about Stevenson. Did he actually write his own 
speeches? What kind of Governor had he been? 
What was he like as a man? 

First, the country learned that Stevenson wasn't 
easy to explain. He was as contradictory as the 
prairie country from which he had come. He was 
essentially a lonely man, a man of moods, yet he 
liked conviviality and communicated a contagious 



warmth. He was frugal, yet generous; thoughtful 
of his friends and kindly, yet able to crack down 
hard if a friend betrayed his loyalty and trust; a 
scholar with a deep feeling for words, yet an out- 
doorsman with an intuitive understanding of the 
long view of nature. 

An illustration of this latter quality was furnished 
by an Oregon state legislator named Richard Neu- 
berger, writing in Frontier Magazine: 

The time to size up a famous man is before he be- 
comes famous. I remember a time in 1947, before Adlai 
Stevenson ever was suggested for political office, when 
he and I and a group of other people spent a mem- 
orable time in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific 
Northwest. . . . We were looking down a steep white 
apron of snow on the ramparts of Mount St. Helens. 
At the bottom of this chute, ugly boulders waited with 
sabre-toothed fangs. The forest ranger and I hesitated 
so that we could get our bearings. Was there some 
safer way around the shoulder of the 10,000-foot moun- 

Adlai Stevenson plodded out onto the slippery gables 
of St. Helens and began kicking out footsteps for his 
wavering companions. 

"Come on," he scoffed, "do you want to live forever?" 

It is true that Stevenson is a man with a challeng- 
ing mind. That's one reason he insists on writing his 
own speeches— it's a personal challenge he insists 
on meeting. Somehow, he seems constitutionally 
unable to stand on a rostrum and deliver effectively 
the words someone prepares for him. On occasions 
when he was terribly pressed for time, he has tried 
this. It just doesn't come off, because it's just not 
part of the Stevenson makeup. With him a speech 
isn't just words— it means something. And Steven- 
son doesn't want anyone, even his best friends, put- 
ting words in his mouth. "When it comes to ex- 
pressing an idea," he once said, "I have only two 
bosses— my conscience and my wrist watch." 

Stevenson has a penchant for inserting humor in 
his speeches; like Lincoln, he has an irresistible urge 
to laugh and to make others laugh. For instance, 
there was the time when Stevenson told a luncheon 
group in New York City about the soldier who took 
his girl to a judge on Saturday afternoon to get 
married, only to find the courthouse closed, so they 
couldn't get a marriage license. The judge was 
sorry. The couple conferred, came up with this sug- 

gestion: "Judge, aren't there a few words you could 
say to tide us over the week-end?" 

There are things that shape a man's life long be- 
fore he's even born. The individuality of a man's 
spirit is the part product of his time and place and 
people. And what is the heritage of Adlai Steven- 

Well, supposing you had as a great-grandfather, 
Jesse Fell— an Illinois pioneer who founded towns 
and newspapers, and who was the first man to 
suggest the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates— 
wouldn't that always be part of your pride? 

And supposing you were named after a man who 
was Vice President of the United States under 
Grover Cleveland— wouldn't that somehow affect 
the things you wanted to do with your life? 

Then supposing your father spent a big part of 
his lifetime wrapped up in the idea that a public 
office is a public trust— wouldn't you catch some 
of that spirit too? 

Adlai Ewing Stevenson was born February 5, 
1900, in Los Angeles. A family home in Blooming- 
ton, Illinois; a childhood divided between the 
South and Michigan; Bloomington public schools, 
some studies in Choate School in Connecticut; and 
then war. In 1918 he enlisted in the United States 
Naval Reserve as an apprentice seaman. 

Afterwards came a period of uncertainty for a 
young man in a hurry but unsure of direction. Man- 
aging editor of the paper at Princeton College, a 
year at Harvard Law School, a newswriting job on 
the Bloomington Pantagraph, long in the Stevenson 
familv and in which he still owns an interest, a law 
degree from Northwestern University in 1926. 

But this restless young man wanted more move- 
ment than just walking up to a jury box. So he be- 
came foreign correspondent for a news service, 
traveled all over Europe, even went to Russia. He 
got a good look at the Soviet way of life, and he 
still remembers homeless children fighting to lick 
the cobblestones where a jar of jam had been 

The newspaperman became a lawyer again, the 
young man planted roots, and in 1927 Adlai Steven- 
son was part of the law firm of Cutting, Moore and 
Sidley in Chicago. 

A year later he had more roots— he had a wife, 



the lovely Ellen Borden. They had three sons: 
Adlai III, now 22, 1952 graduate of the Officers 
Candidate School at the U.S. Marine Base in Quan- 
tico, Virginia; Borden, 20, a Harvard student; and 
John Fell, 16, a student at Milford, Mass. 

The Stevensons were divorced in 1949. Steven- 
son blamed the divorce on "the incompatability of 
our lives." And later, added, "That doesn't mean 
that I approve of divorce. Indeed I think that one of 
the healthiest things that could happen to America 
would be a sharp decline in the appalling divorce 

The young lawyer with the packed brief case 
caught a train to Washington in 1933 and got his 
first full taste of his heritage— the spirit of service. 
He worked hard as special counsel to the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture, traveled among farmers, 
ranchers, dairymen, learned their problems and 
needs, helped establish their marketing agree- 

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox needed a 
trouble-shooting special assistant, and Stevenson 
found himself with all kinds of new responsibilities, 
including mediating labor-management disputes 
connected with work for the Navy. 

Later Stevenson headed a special economic mis- 
sion to Italy and worked out a comprehensive basic 
formula for post-war planning for all the defeated 
countries. That Stevenson formula helped save 
Italy from communism. 

Stevenson helped plan the groundwork for the 
UN in London, followed through in San Francisco, 
found himself working with the permanent U.S. del- 
egation to the General Assembly. It was then that 
the late Senator Arthur Vandenberg, Republican 
of Michigan, wrote Stevenson: "I am glad you are 
going to the General Assembly. I want you to know 
—as a matter of record— that when I was asked for 
recommendations in connection with the United 
States delegation, I put your name down as a 
must.' I wish you were devoting all your time to 
foreign affairs." 

Stevenson the public servant had grown into 
Stevenson the statesman. 

As to why it took the country so long to discover 
Stevenson— well, that's a mystery that's hard to 
explain. The people closest to him say it was evi- 

dent all along that here was a man gaited for great- 


They cite his inaugural speech as Governor, 
when he scorned the customary tired generalities 
to emphasize that Illinois was part of the world; a 
fearless speech at Brooklyn, Illinois, in 1948 when 
he emphasized that he must push ahead with civil 
liberties or "be unworthy of my heritage." 

Friends also recall Stevenson's speech before the 
Northwestern graduating class in 1950 when he 
said: "Before you could add and subtract, the 
bountiful earth was paralyzed with unemployment 
and poverty stalked through fields of plenty. And 
by the time many of you were ready for college, 
they handed you a gun and told you to fight for 
your life . . . Those decades between the wars were 
not an entrance to the new, but an exit from the 
old. You are going to work and play, I hope, in a 
new-dimensional world. Great restless forces are at 
work . . . the corners of the earth feel the fer- 

Why does a man go into politics anyway? What's 
the private push? Power? Prestige? 

Here's the story Stevenson tells: 

It was something in The Stars and Stripes in 
Italy, a story he saw while he was there heading a 
special mission. "It was a public-opinion poll in 
which seven out of ten American parents said they 
didn't want their boys to enter public life," said 
Stevenson. "Think of it! Boys could suffer and die 
in their cold, muddy, bloody campaign for the 
things we believe in, but parents didn't want their 
children to work for those same things. I decided 
then that, if I ever had a chance, I'd go into public 

It started in Illinois with the pressure of friends. 
Friends with all the drive of amateur politicians 
who see only the stars and none of the mud of 
politics. But some of their zeal rammed through to 
the professional politicians who finally decided that 
maybe Adlai Stevenson did have the potential of 
a political "gold nugget." The question was eeny- 
meeny-miny-mo whether Stevenson or Paul 
Douglas would run for the Senate or Governor- 
ship. When they finally decided on Stevenson 
for Governor, it caused a lot of knowing political 



First, it was Dewey's year, wasn't it? 

Second, who ever heard of Adlai E. Stevenson? 

Third, the Republicans had raised a half-million 
dollars in campaign money; the Stevenson crowd 
operated on a thin shoestring out of an almost 
empty office. 

And Stevenson didn't want any dirty money; he 
didn't want money with strings attached. As much 
as he could, he checked the sources of every single 
donation. He told his professional political sup- 
porters: "I'm not a politician. I'll do a lot of things 
the organization wouldn't stand for. I won't make 
political appointments. I'll get you into a lot of 

They said O.K., go ahead. And he went. He went 
in a borrowed car, crisscrossed into every corner of 
the state, sledgehammered his speeches again and 
again at the state's complete corruption and again 
and again he told his audience, "I am not a politi- 
cian. I am a citizen." 

In 1948 the people of Illinois elected him by 
572,000 votes, the greatest plurality in the history 
of Illinois. 

As Governor, Stevenson picked people for jobs 
regardless of political party. He picked men of 
proved ability in specialized fields, most of them 
outside of politics, but some of them well-known 
Republicans. He brought high-grade, skilled men 
into state government jobs that paid them only 
small fractions of what they made on the outside. 

Stevenson housecleaned, overhauled, reorgan- 
ized. He put patronage-appointed state police 
under civil service and they made 730 gambling 
raids— they had never made a single raid before! 
He fired 1,300 state employees from fat, useless 
jobs, and it didn't matter to what political party 
they belonged! The big thing was this: public 
pressure was no longer for sale in Illinois. This is 
an honest man who sweeps with a big broom. 

Some 32 business firms paid for a big news- 
paper ad that said, "THANK YOU, GOVERNOR 
STEVENSON." They were thanking him for 
quickly and completely cleaning up a multimillion- 
dollar cigarette-tax counterfeiting racket. 

Business men thanked Stevenson for taking pol- 
itics out of public-utility regulation, for making the 
Illinois Commerce Commission truly independent. 

They thanked him for bringing in nationally promi- 
nent business executives to handle state finances 
and purchasing. They thanked him for cutting out 
the political squeeze and shakedown in public con- 

This is a man of business who means business. 

Stevenson's the kind of man who turns off the 
lights in the executive mansion when he leaves a 
room. And he refused to replace a twelve-year-old 
state limousine because it had gone only 300,000 

Stevenson vetoed 57 bills one year because the 
Republican-controlled legislature appropriated $42 
million the budget didn't have. (And yet he still 
managed to include in his budgets some $330 mil- 
lion more for schools, public aid, welfare. ) That's 
why Illinois was one of the seven states in the 
country that didn't need any new general-purpose 
taxes. That's why the Illinois state-tax burden is the 
second lowest in the country. 

This is a hard man with the dollar. 

He kept his promises of friendship to labor. 

How do you prove friendship, anyway? Not by 
slapping a worker on the back and kissing his 
baby. Stevenson proved it by urging a 30 per cent 
increase for workmen's compensation benefits. 
Stevenson proved it by making compensation set- 
tlements in three months instead of three years. He 
did it by twice increasing unemployment benefits. 
He did it by enforcing an industrial-safety pro- 
gram that made 1951 the best safety year in 
Illinois history. 

Stevenson proved his friendship by putting teeth 
into the enforcement of the neglected child-labor 
law and the women's eight-hour law. 

This is a man who proves his friendship by 
deeds— not guff. 

And he worked hard for the farmer. 

Illinois is now first among all states in the num- 
ber of cattle under supervision against disease. 
State inspection of seed samples has jumped 25 
per cent. Grain inspection has been put on a self- 
supporting basis for the first time in forty years. 

Stevenson got his basic farm training among the 
hard facts of A.A.A., and so when he streamlined the 
disorganized state Agriculture Department he put 
a strong stress on soil conservation. And he made 
research move out of the office onto the farms to 



show just how farmers can put science into agri- 

Stevenson knew that the farmer's lifeline was 
farm-to-market roads and he made sure it stayed 
healthy. For the first time, a big slice of the gaso- 
line-tax money (some $10 million a year) will go 
for rural roads. 

This man is a farmer who knows the farmers' 

There wasn't a thing on this farm when Governor 
Stevenson bought it in 1937. He put in two tons of 
limestone and 1,500 pounds of rock phosphate per 
acre and seeded it down with alfalfa, brome grass and 
ladino clover. Today the pasture is knee-high. Mr. 
Stevenson is no mere gentleman farmer. He can shear 
a sheep or assist at lambing. He can chop wood, build 
a fence, put up hay or drive a tractor and does fre- 

frank Holland, operator of Mr. Stevenson's 80-acre 
farm. Aug. 31, 1952 

His feeling for civil liberties is one of the big 
principles of his life. 

Nobody tried harder than he did to persuade 
Illinois to give all its citizens equality of oppor- 
tunity. Stevenson wiped out questions of race, re- 
ligion and nationality from state job applications. 

Nobody argued more strongly for a state FEPC. 
The Republican State Senate voted a solid bloc 
(24 out of 25) to defeat his bill. 

And nobody showed more political courage than 
Stevenson did when he vetoed the Broyles Bill 
which he felt would hurt more honest people than 
traitors. Stevenson said: 

We all agree that the Republic must be preserved at 
all costs, or there will be no freedom to preserve or 

even regain. We must fight traitors with laws. We 
already have the laws. We must fight falsehood and 
evil ideas with truth and better ideas. We have them 
in plenty. . . . We must not burn down the house to 
kill the rats. . . . 

This is a fighter for the democratic spirit of man. 

And what did he do for the old, the sick and the 
needy? What did he do for the schools? 

He cut fat from overloaded parts of the budget 
and then added $128 million more for the blind, 
the aged, the dependent children. 

He doubled state aid to schools, pulling the 
school system up among the nation's best. Under 
the Republicans, Illinois had ranked 44th out of 
48 states in school support. 

He changed the state's mental-health setup from 
an open sore to a national model. A bipartisan 
legislative committee reporting on the situation 
under the Republicans, said: "Illinois is near the 
head of the list for the number of patients who 
died in mental hospitals under suspicious circum- 
stances." Four years later, the famous Dr. Karl 
Menninger described the cleaned-up system as 
"one of the country's best." 

You expect this kind of action from this kind 
of man. 

O * * * 4 

In their lifetime, people had never seen a man 
just like him. 

Here's a man who says in Virginia what he says 
in Harlem. 

Here's a man who threw away the fat, empty 
words of the politicians and drew out of himself 
words that moved men in the way of Jefferson 
and Lincoln and Wilson and Roosevelt. 

Welcoming Address 


July 21, 1952 

As Governor of the host state to the 1952 Democratic Convention, I 
have the honor of welcoming you to Illinois. And, in the name of our 
nine millions of people, I extend to you the heartiest of greetings. Chi- 
cago and Illinois are proud that once again the party conventions by 
which we restate our principles and choose our candidates for the 
greatest temporal office on earth are to be held here at the crossroads 
of the continent. 

Here on the prairies of Illinois and the Middle West we can see a 
long way in all directions. We look to east, to west, to north and to south. 
Our commerce, our ideas, come and go in all directions. Here there are 
no barriers, no defenses, to ideas and aspirations. We want none; we 
want no shackles on the mind or the spirit, no rigid patterns of thought, 
no iron conformity. We want only the faith and conviction that triumph 
in free and fair contest. 

As a Democrat perhaps you will permit me to remind you that 
until four years ago the people of Illinois had chosen but three Demo- 
cratic governors in a hundred years. One was John Peter Altgeld, the 
Eagle Forgotten, an immigrant; one was Edward F. Dunne, whose par- 
ents came from Ireland; and the last was Henry Horner, but one gen- 
eration removed from Germany. John Peter Altgeld was a Protestant, 
Governor Dunne was a Catholic and Henry Horner was a Jew. 

That, my friends, is the American story, written here on the prairies 
of Illinois, in the heartland of the nation. 

You are very welcome here. Indeed, we think you were very wise 
to come here for your deliberations in this fateful year of grace. For 
it was in Chicago that the modern Democratic story began. It was here 
just twenty years ago in the depths of shattering national misery at the 
end of a dizzy decade of Republican rule that you commenced the 
greatest era of economic and social progress in our history with 
the nomination of Franklin Roosevelt; twenty years during which we 
fought total depression to victory and have never been more pros- 
perous; twenty years during which we fought total war to victory, both 



east and west, and launched the United Nations; twenty years that 
close in grim contest with the Communist conspiracy on every con- 

But our Republican friends say it was all a miserable failure. For 
almost a week pompous phrases marched over this landscape in search 
of an idea, and the only idea they found was that the two great decades 
of progress in peace, victory in war, and bold leadership in this anxious 
hour were the misbegotten spawn of bungling, corruption, socialism, 
mismanagement, waste and worse. They captured, tied and dragged 
that idea in here and furiously beat it to death. 

After listening to our misdeeds awhile I was surprised the next 
morning when the mail was delivered on time! Our friends were out of 
patience, out of sorts and, need I add, out of office. 

But we Democrats were not the only victims here. First they 
slaughtered each other, and then they went after us. And the same 
vocabulary was good for both exercises, which was a great convenience. 
Perhaps the proximity of the stockyards accounts for the carnage. 

The constructive spirit of the great Democratic decades must not 
die here on its twentieth anniversary in destructive indignity and dis- 
order. And I hope and pray, as you all do, that we can conduct our 
deliberations with a businesslike precision and a dignity befitting our 
responsibility, and the solemnity of the hour of history in which we 

For it is a very solemn hour indeed, freighted with the hopes and 
fears of millions of mankind who see in us, the Democratic party, sober 
understanding of the breadth and depth of the revolutionary currents 
in the world. Here and abroad they see in us awareness that there is no 
turning back, that, as Justice Holmes said, "We must sail sometimes 
with the wind, sometimes against it; but we must sail and not drift or 
lie at anchor." They see in us, the Democratic party, that has steered 
this country through a storm of spears for twenty years, an under- 
standing of a world in the torment of transition from an age that has 
died to an age struggling to be born. They saw in us relentless deter- 
mination to stand fast against the barbarian at the gate, to cultivate 
allies with a decent respect for the opinion of others, patiently to 
explore every misty path to peace and security which is the only cer- 
tainty of lower taxes and a better life. 

This is not the time for superficial solutions and everlasting elocu- 
tion, for frantic boast and foolish word. For words are not deeds and 
there are no cheap and painless solutions to war, hunger, ignorance, 
fear and imperialist Communism. Intemperate criticism is not a policy 
for the nation; denunciation is not a program for our salvation. Words 
calculated to catch everyone may catch no one. And I hope we can 
profit from Republican mistakes for the benefit of all of us, Republicans 
and Democrats alike. 


Where we have erred, let there be no denial; where we have 
wronged the public trust, let there be no excuses. Self-criticism is the 
secret weapon of democracy, and candor and confession are good for 
the political soul. But we will never appease; we will never apologize 
for our leadership in the great events of this critical century from 
Woodrow Wilson to Harry Truman! 

We glory in these imperishable pages of our country's chronicle. 
But a great record of past achievement is not enough. There can be no 
complacency perhaps for years to come. We dare not just look back to 
great yesterdays. We must look forward to great tomorrows. 

What counts now is not just what we are against, but what we are 
for. Who leads us is less important than what leads us— what convic- 
tions, what courage, what faith— win or lose. A man doesn't save a cen- 
tury, or a civilization, but a militant party wedded to a principle can. 

So I hope our preoccupation here is not just with personalities but 
with objectives. And I hope the spirit of this Convention is a confident 
reaffirmation that the United States is strong, resolved, resourceful and 
rich; that we know the duty and the destiny of this heaven-rescued 
land; that we can and we will pursue a strong, consistent, honorable 
policy abroad, and meanwhile preserve the free institutions of life and 
of commerce at home. 

What America needs and the world wants is not bombast, abuse 
and double talk, but a sober message of firm faith and confidence. St. 
Francis said: "Where there is patience and humility there is neither 
anger nor worry." 

And let us remember that we are not meeting here alone. All the 
world is watching and listening to what we say, what we do and how 
we behave. So let us give them a demonstration of democracy in action 
at its best— our manners good, our proceedings orderly and dignified. 
And, above all, let us make our decisions openly, fairly, not by the 
processes of synthetic excitement or mass hysteria, but, as these solemn 
times demand, by earnest thought and prayerful deliberation. 

Thus can the people's party reassure the people and vindicate and 
strengthen the forces of democracy throughout the world. 

Speech of Acceptance 


July 26, 1952 

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen of the convention, my fellow 

I accept your nomination— and your program. 

I should have preferred to hear those words uttered by a stronger, 
a wiser, a better man than myself. But after listening to the President's 
speech, I even feel better about myself. 

None of you, my friends, can wholly appreciate what is in my heart. 
I can only hope that you understand my words. They will be few. 

I have not sought the honor you have done me. I could not seek it 
because I aspired to another office, which was the full measure of my 
ambition. And one does not treat the highest office within the gift of the 
people of Illinois as an alternative or as a consolation prize. 

I would not seek your nomination for the Presidency because the 
burdens of that office stagger the imagination. Its potential for good or 
evil now and in the years of our lives smothers exultation and converts 
vanity to prayer. 

I have asked the merciful Father, the Father to us all, to let this cup 
pass from me. But from such dread responsibility one does not shrink in 
fear, in self-interest or in false humility. 

So, "If this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it, Thy will be 

That my heart has been troubled, that I have not sought this nomi- 
nation, that I could not seek it in good conscience, that I would not seek 
it in honest self-appraisal, it is not to say that I value it the less. Rather 
it is that I revere the office of the Presidency of the United States. 

And now that you have made your decision I will fight to win that 
office with all my heart and my soul. And with your help, I have no 
doubt that we will win. 

You have summoned me to the highest mission within the gift of 
any people. I could not be more proud. Better men than I were at hand 
for this mighty task, and I owe to you and to them every resource of 
mind and of strength that I possess to make your deed today a good one 



for our country and for our party. I am confident, too, that your selec- 
tion of a candidate for Vice President will strengthen me and our party 
immeasurably in the hard, the implacable work that lies ahead of all 
of us. 

I know you join me in gratitude and in respect for the great Demo- 
crats and the leaders of our generation whose names you have con- 
sidered here in this convention, whose vigor, whose character and 
devotion to the Republic we love so well have won the respect of count- 
less Americans and enriched our party. 

I shall need them, we shall need them, because I have not changed 
in any respect since yesterday. Your nomination, awesome as I find it, 
has not enlarged my capacities. So I am profoundly grateful and em- 
boldened by their comradeship and their fealty. And I have been deeply 
moved by their expressions of goodwill and of support. And I cannot, 
my friends, resist the urge to take the one opportunity that has been 
afforded me to pay my humble respects to a very great and good Ameri- 
can whom I am proud to call my kinsman— Alben Barkley of Kentucky. 

Let me say, too, that I have been heartened by the conduct of this 
convention. You have argued and disagreed because as Democrats you 
care and you care deeply. But you have disagreed and argued without 
calling each other liars and thieves, without despoiling our best tradi- 
tions. You have not spoiled our best traditions in any naked struggles 
for power. 

And you have written a platform that neither equivocates, contra- 
dicts nor evades. 

You have restated our party's record, its principles and its purposes 
in language that none can mistake, and with a firm confidence in justice, 
freedom and peace on earth that will raise the hearts and the hopes of 
mankind for that distant day when no one rattles a saber and no one 
drags a chain. 

For all these things I am grateful to you. But I feel no exultation, no 
sense of triumph. Our troubles are all ahead of us. 

Some will call us appeasers; others will say that we are the war 

Some will say we are reactionary. 

Others will say that we stand for socialism. 

There will be the inevitable cries of "throw the rascals out"; "it's 
time for a change"; and so on and so on. 

We'll hear all those things and many more besides. But we will hear 
nothing that we have not heard before. I am not too much concerned 
with partisan denunciation, with epithets and abuse, because the work- 
ing man, the farmer, the thoughtful business man, all know that they are 
better off than ever before and they all know that the greatest danger to 
free enterprise in this country died with the great depression under the 
hammer blows of the Democratic party. 


Nor am I afraid that the precious two-party system is in danger. 
Certainly the Republican party looked brutally alive a couple of weeks 
ago, and I mean both Republican parties! Nor am I afraid that the 
Democratic party is old and fat and indolent. 

After 150 years it has been old for a long time; and it will never be 
indolent as long as it looks forward and not back, as long as it commands 
the allegiance of the young and the hopeful who dream the dreams and 
see the visions of a better America and a better world. 

You will hear many sincere and thoughtful people express concern 
about the continuation of one party in power for twenty years. I don't 
belittle this attitude. But change for the sake of change has no absolute 
merit in itself. 

If our greatest hazard is preservation of the values of Western civi- 
lization, in our self-interest alone, if you please, is it the part of wisdom 
to change for the sake of change to a party with a split personality; to a 
leader whom we all respect, but who has been called upon to minister 
to a hopeless case of political schizophrenia? 

If the fear is corruption in official position, do you believe with 
Charles Evans Hughes that guilt is personal and knows no party? Do 
you doubt the power of any political leader, if he has the will to do so, to 
set his own house in order without his neighbors having to burn it 

What does concern me, in common with thinking partisans of both 
parties, is not just winning this election, but how it is won, how well we 
can take advantage of this great quadrennial opportunity to debate 
issues sensibly and soberly. 

I hope and pray that we Democrats, win or lose, can campaign not 
as a crusade to exterminate the opposing party, as our opponents seem 
to prefer, but as a great opportunity to educate and elevate a people 
whose destiny is leadership, not alone of a rich and prosperous, con- 
tented country as in the past, but of a world in ferment. 

And, my friends, even more important than winning the election is 
governing the nation. That is the test of a political party— the acid, final 
test. When the tumult and the shouting die, when the bands are gone 
and the lights are dimmed, there is the stark reality of responsibility in 
an hour of history haunted with those gaunt, grim spectres of strife, 
dissension and ruthless, inscrutable and hostile power abroad. 

The ordeal of the Twentieth Century— the bloodiest, most turbulent 
era of the Christian age— is far from over. Sacrifice, patience, under- 
standing and implacable purpose may be our lot for years to come. 

Let's face it. Let's talk sense to the American people. Let's tell them 
the truth, that there are no gains without pains, that we are now on the 
eve of great decisions, not easy decisions, like resistance when you're 
attacked, but a long, patient, costly struggle which alone can assure 
triumph over the great enemies of man— war, poverty and tyranny— and 


the assaults upon human dignity which are the most grievous conse- 
quences of each. 

Let's tell them that the victory to be won in the Twentieth Century, 
this portal to the golden age, mocks the pretensions of individual acu- 
men and ingenuity. For it is a citadel guarded by thick walls of igno- 
rance and mistrust which do not fall before the trumpets' blast or the 
politicians' imprecations or even a general's baton. They are, my friends, 
walls that must be directly stormed by the hosts of courage, morality 
and of vision, standing shoulder to shoulder, unafraid of ugly truth, 
contemptuous of lies, half-truths, circuses and demagoguery. 

The people are wise— wiser than the Republicans think. And the 
Democratic party is the people's party, not the labor party, not the 
farmers' party, not the employers' party— it is the party of no one be- 
cause it is the party of everyone. 

That, I think, is our ancient mission. Where we have deserted it we 
have failed. With your help there will be no desertion now. Better we 
lose the election than mislead the people; and better we lose than mis- 
govern the people. 

Help me do the job in this autumn of conflict and of campaign; help 
me to do the job in these years of darkness, of doubt and of crisis which 
stretch beyond the horizon of tonight's happy vision, and we will justify 
our glorious past and the loyalty of silent millions who look to us for 
compassion, for understanding and for honest purpose. Thus we will 
serve our great tradition greatly. 

I ask of you all you have; I will give to you all I have, even as he 
who came here tonight and honored me, as he has honored you— the 
Democratic party— by a lifetime of service and bravery that will find 
him an imperishable page in the history of the Republic and of the 
Democratic party— President Harry S. Truman. 

And finally, my friends, in the staggering task that you have as- 
signed me, I shall always try "to do justly, to love mercy, and walk 
humbly with my God." 

The Need for a Change 


The Colorado Volunteers-for-Stevenson Dinner 

September 5, 1952 

Mr. Brooks, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

When this visit to Denver was arranged for me I had thought to find 
here a bustling and hostile campaign headquarters. But evidently all is 
quiet in Denver. The tents have been folded and the captains and the 
kings have departed. 

I am informed, if not very reliably, that with both discordant ele- 
ments of the Republican party here in Denver suddenly someone real- 
ized that Denver is very close to the Great Divide. And I guess they 
thought it was time for a change before this unhappy symbolism became 
too apparent. 

Whatever the reason, I am afraid my neighbors in Springfield, Illi- 
nois, are not going to get the same relief you in Denver have had. My 
headquarters will continue to be there on November 4. I am delighted 
to hear that Springfield is so popular in Denver. 

Now there is deep personal satisfaction for me in the fact that this, 
my first talk on my first extended campaign trip, is sponsored by the 
independents who are organizing around the country on my behalf. 

I'm reminded of the lonely days of my first venture into political life 
in 1948. Few really believed then that I, a Democrat, could be elected 
Governor of an overwhelmingly Republican state. But there were a lot 
of independent-minded people in Illinois who believed in me enough to 
work hard for my election. 

In Illinois the independents— and I include in that term all those 
who wear a party label over their hearts but not over their eyes— now 
those people in Illinois shared with me, I think, certain ideals and objec- 
tives for government at all levels. We believed in these things: 

Government— any government— is not an end in itself. It exists to 
serve certain human purposes. These purposes should be enlarged only 
with caution. Indeed, the effort should be always to leave as wide a range 
of activity as possible in private hands and to keep public intervention as 
far down the scale and as close to the people governed as possible. 



What ought to be done by government for the public welfare should 
be done. There should be no wistful dragging of the feet or turning back- 
ward to a dead, irrelevant past. 

Government should be competent. Its personnel must not be under 
the heavy hand of purely political selection or influence. It must not be 
afraid of raising and spending money for worthy purposes, but it must 
detest and fear waste and dishonesty as ever-present threats to the whole 
moral basis of government by the consent of the governed because peo- 
ple don't consent voluntarily to be cheated or abused. 

We believe above all else that those who hold in their hands the 
power of government must themselves be independent— and this kind 
of independence means the wisdom, the experience, the courage to iden- 
tify the special interests and the pressures that are always at work, to see 
the public interest steadily, to resist its subordination no matter what the 
political hazards. 

Now this simple principle is not peculiar to Illinois, nor is it foreign 
to the majority of those who participate in political activity. It's my com- 
mon ground with those who are devoting their time and their effort and 
their money to the Volunteers for Stevenson, under whose auspices I 
speak here in Denver tonight. 

This election year can set the stage for great ideas and great events. 
This is a year which opens out on challenges, on opportunities and deci- 
sions as big as history itself. There are awesome things for any citizen to 
ponder. They are more awesome for a presidential candidate. 

Feeling this, I must assume that my opponent, whom I honor for 
the proud page he has written in American history, feels it too. And I can 
imagine nothing more false or hollow than to conceal these things from 
the American people in order to put on a show of politics as usual. If we 
do this, we will succeed only in making a show of ourselves. In a contest 
for the greatest office and at a time for greatness I think we owe it to the 
people to talk sense. 

I don't think many people are beguiled by denunciations and gen- 
eralizations ( and I don't mean a pun ) . I may be wrong, my friends, but 
I must persist in that conviction— at least until November. 

So I propose to go on saying just what I think about our public 
questions one by one, with little hope of pleasing everyone, but with 
confident certainty that honesty is the best policy and that for this office, 
in this anxious year, you don't want a political free-for-all, and you do 
want to know all you can about me and about my views. Frankly, until 
recently not many people cared about either. It's a little hard to get 
accustomed to this importance. 

Now, having stated the ground rules as far as I'm concerned, I 
should like to talk a little about one of the biggest hazards of this cam- 
paign, as far as I'm concerned. As divided, as silent as both wings of the 
Republican party are on major objectives, on policies to guide the nation, 


they have wholeheartedly united on one profound proposition: "It's time 
for a change." 

You will hear this phrase many times— usually at the end of a long 
string of invectives in which each of the following words will appear at 
least once: crime, corruption and cronies; bossism, blundering and bun- 
gling; stupidity and socialism ( either the creeping or galloping variety, 
depending on the inflammation of the speaker). Indeed, my friends, 
apparently you are going to hear little else. The question must come to 
your mind: "change to what?" But don't pause for an answer because 
you may pause indefinitely. 

Now, my friends, I've read the Republican platform, which is pretty 
good as a "whodunit," but it doesn't tell us what kind of a domestic or 
foreign policy they are going to change to. I've listened to the speeches, 
too, and I don't yet know what legislation of the past twenty years is to 
be changed or changed to what. Nor have I heard yet to what new for- 
eign policy we should be committed, unless it's the reckless suggestion 
of a war of liberation in Europe, which has frightened everyone except 
the Russians. 

No, the guideposts and the road maps to the new Utopia which 
change will build are not yet visible. But meanwhile the Republican 
candidates seem to have clasped all of the social gains of the past twenty 
years to their bosoms with a "me-too" fervor that is touching to a Demo- 
crat, for imitation still remains the sincerest form of flattery. 

I confess it's all a little perplexing. The Democrats are denounced 
for not wanting changes and then they are denounced for a subversive 
desire to change everything. I'm beginning to wonder if the Republican 
campaign rests on the proposition that Democrats are social revolution- 
aries who want to keep things exactly as they are. 

But, and more seriously, "change" is about the most important word 
in the world today. In fact, I would be perfectly willing to have the 
outcome of this election decided on these questions: 

Which party best understands the meaning of change in the modern 

Which party has ignored it? 

Which has anticipated the need for a change and done something 
about it? 

Which party has resisted about every important change for the past 
twenty-five years? 

And looking ahead now, which party is most likely to cope effec- 
tively with the vast changes already in the making? 

You'll forgive me if I'm a little cynical when I hear shouting the 
loudest for change the politicians who have consistently opposed change 
at every turn as far back as most of us can remember. 

Timing, timing with respect to change is as important as change 
itself. It's when the problem is a live one that change becomes impor- 


tant. In fact, if my party had not met the challenge of change at the 
right time, there would be no program in America for the Republican 
leaders to endorse. 

I have a hunch that the American people would like to see them get 
out in front of something besides criticism for a change. And I have a 
hunch that there are a lot of us who would be more impressed by specific 
ideas about the making of a better world than by these hoarse denuncia- 
tions and demands for a blank check made out to change. 

I believe there are a lot of changes still to be made. I'm for continu- 
ing the process of gradual and economic betterment which began at the 
depths of despair in 1932. The changes wrought in these twenty years 
have steadily raised the standards of life of our people, given new hope 
to the underprivileged and proven to the slave world the capacity of 
free men to provide security for themselves within the framework of 

I'm glad that the General has apparently embraced these changes. 
But I don't detect any roars of approval from the Old Guard— you know 
what they are, they're the men who don't want anything done for the 
first time. My fellow townsman, Colonel McCormick, has even deserted 
—he's "gone over the hill" as the G.I.'s say. And Senator Taft, it's re- 
ported, wants commitments and he wants them in writing. 

Some commentators tell us that there are really two Republican 
parties, which of course has been obvious to most of us for a long time— 
the comparatively modern men and the powerful Old Guard who are 
still fighting valiantly to keep us out of World War II. 

Now they tell us that if the Republicans lose this year, as usual, the 
Old Guard— they tell us that if that happens the Old Guard will come 
raging in and drive the so-called me-tooers into shameful exile. And, 
therefore, the thing for independents and Democrats to do is to let the 
Republicans win, thereby assuring the triumph of moderation and ena- 
bling us all to live happily ever after. 

I believe that this is the first time in history that it has been con- 
tended that now is the time for all good Democrats to come to the aid 
of the Republican party. 

Now, at the risk of seeming to lack compassion and humanity— 
that's too high a price to save enlightened Republicans from their more 
primitive brethren. They'll just have to take care of themselves while 
we take care of the country. 

But of course there is an easier, safer path of escape for these liberal 
Republicans trapped behind the G. O. P. line. There's always a light in 
our Democratic window for the politically homeless or the repentant. 
There's a warm welcome and plenty of shelter for Republicans as well 
as independents, and, as in the Foreign Legion, no questions asked. 

Now, my friends, I shall not argue that it is necessarily fatal to 
change horses in mid-stream. But I doubt if it is wise to jump on a 


struggling two-headed elephant trying to swim in both directions in 
rough water. 

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes 
he has to eat them. Alas, in this world he sometimes, or perhaps too 
often, lives by catchwords. Slogans are normally designed to get action 
without reflection. This one, "time for a change," fits these specifications 
admirably. This may not be too serious when all that is at stake is whether 
to buy one cake of soap or another, but I don't think it furnishes a sound 
basis for deciding a national election. 

If we believe in human progress, if we believe with the pioneers 
that there is a peaceful better life to be found beyond the horizon, then 
we all profoundly believe that it is always time for change— a change to 
something better. "The important thing," as Justice Holmes once said, 
"is not where we are, but where we are going." 

This year the Democratic party nominated me for the Presidency, 
a nomination I did not seek. That's the best evidence that the Democrats 
wanted a change, too. And the Democrat who wanted it most of all was 
President Truman. 

Now, the bitterest enemies of President Truman could never accuse 
him of being one to run away from a fight. But he knows that change, 
new men, new blood, new ideas, new methods, is helpful. He has not 
sought to interfere with the considerable changes in the Democratic 
party organization that I've already made. And I could add that no one 
has made or even proposed any deals with me for any office, or benefit, 
or favor whatsoever. 

Now I think the Republican leaders know this. Yet I hear them 
attack corruption as if there wasn't a single honest Federal employee 
and then go on to say that I am indebted to someone, that I would have 
no freedom, and that I could do nothing if I found dishonesty. 

On this subject I want to say, as I've said many times before, that 
corruption in public office is treason and it's treason to Democrats as 
well as to the Republicans. Any crooks that I can find in the Govern- 
ment will be exposed and punished as ruthlessly as I've done it in Illi- 
nois — to Republicans and Democrats alike. 

And what's more, my friends, I think I know more about their 
methods than my opponent because I followed eight years of magnifi- 
cent Republican rascality in Illinois. I've used an axe on my own party 
men without fear or favor or hesitation and, frankly, I resent the 
charges that imply that either my honesty or my fidelity to the public 
trust would be diminished by election to an office I revere. 

I had not expected that from the General. And I will not repay him 
in kind. But I would thank him to read more carefully what I don't 
believe he would write himself. Moreover, you'll forgive me if I gag a 
little when Republican politicians don the ill-fitting mantle of self -right- 
eousness and deliver holier-than-thou sermons on morality. 


I've read enough of our history to remember the shameful periods 
after previous wars, and who was in power then? The Republican 

But that doesn't condone the recent revelations of faithlessness. 
And I don't condone them and never will— either in public life or in 

Finally, let me suggest to our Republican friends that it's time for 
a change in that old tired meaningless tune "It's time for a change." It 
has been used every four years and it hasn't started any dancing in the 
streets yet. 

What we really believe in, I think, independents, Republicans and 
Democrats alike— Americans— is not the slogans of people who are out of 
office and want to get in, what we believe in is the power and the right 
of peaceful, continuous change for the better. 

We believe in it because we, the American people, believe in our- 
selves. We believe in our ideals and in the necessity for justifying our 
exalted position in the world. 

And finally, we believe that with prudence and patience, with a 
sense of dedication, and with God's help, we can give enriched meaning 
to human destiny. 

I'm grateful to all of you who have rallied to my support in this vast 
undertaking. I have learned that the greatest, perhaps the only enduring 
satisfaction in public office is the confidence and the respect— not the 
total agreement, because it can never exist— the confidence and the 
respect of disinterested men and women who don't want anything for 

Thank you. 

On Political Morality 


The Los Angeles Town Club 

September 11, 1952 

I was born in Los Angeles. I have often thought that if my parents 
had to remove me at a very early age, the least they could have done 
was to endow me with a few lots in the center of Los Angeles. It 
might have been an easier way to earn a living. 

Last time I was in this room was in May ten years ago in 1942 
with my beloved and celebrated boss at that time, Colonel Frank Knox, 
then Secretary of the Navy. He made a much better speech to you that 
time than I will today. And I know, because I wrote both of them. 

Now I am persuaded that congenitally, as well as a candidate, I 
talk entirely too much. 

I think of those imperishable words of Disraeli when a callow 
new Member of the House of Commons approached him and said 
earnestly, "Mr. Prime Minister, do you think I should participate very 
actively in the debates?" 

And Disraeli gave him an appraising glance and said to him, 
"No, I don't think you had better. I think it would be better if the 
House were to wonder why you didn't talk, rather than why you did." 

Personally, I couldn't agree more. 

But a candidate has to talk, I suppose, and I think he should talk 
as plainly as possible about public questions, to admit what he doesn't 
know and what he can't answer. 

If he purported to know the right answer to everything, he would 
be either a knave or a fool. If he even had an answer to everything 
he would probably be just a fool. 

If he had no emphatic views at all, he would probably be just as 
untrustworthy; and if he was evasive, he would probably be either 
cunning or a political coward, of which we have altogether too many; 
and finally, if he should arrive at election time with almost everybody 
satisfied, then you should by all means vote against him as the most 
dangerous charlatan of them all. 

In other words, you of Town Hall who try to vote intelligently 
have quite a chore. From my brief experience in Illinois, I am per- 
suaded that forthright discussion of the real public questions is neither 



beneath the dignity of political candidates or above the intelligence of 
the American people, and it most certainly is the condition precedent 
to any intelligent choice except by the faculty of intuition, which is by 
no means infallible in these days of ghosts and of press agents. 

I wanted to talk to you about politics and I suppose I am quali- 
fied by ignorance to talk about politics because I have been in politics 
barely four years and there are some politicians who don't think I am 
in it yet and others who expect me to be out of it very soon. 

Andrew Oliver said in Boston more than 150 years ago, "Politics 
is the most hazardous of all professions. There is not another in which 
a man can hope to do so much good for his fellow creatures. Neither 
is there any in which by mere loss of nerve he may do such wide- 
spread harm. 

"Nor is there another in which he may so easily lose his own soul. 
Nor is there another in which a positive and strict veracity is so diffi- 
cult, but danger is the inseparable companion of honor. With all the 
temptations and degradations that beset the politician it is still the 
noblest career any man can choose." 

Now, I emphatically agree to the "hazards and dangers" part of 
that quotation from Oliver, but how about the honor and the nobility? 

That "politics and politicians" have become words of disrepute 
and of abuse, epithets, if you please, instead of words of honor and 
respect is nothing new, but it seems to me paradoxical and very sad 
in a republic governed by the governed. 

More recently than Oliver's comment of 150 years ago, Bernard 
Shaw said that democracy is a device that insures that we shall be 
governed no better than we deserve. Whose fault is it then that we 
get what we deserve in government and that the honor and nobility 
of politics at most levels are empty phrases? 

Well, having asked you the question, I shall hastily answer it my- 
self by saying that it is not the lower order of the genus pol, but it is 
the fault of you the people. 

Your public servants serve you right. Indeed, often they serve 
you better than your apathy and your indifference deserve, but I 
suggest that there is always time to repent and to amend your ways. 
However, you won't amend your ways just by redoubling your re- 
solve to help your favorite candidate for President, including even the 
Governor of Illinois. 

No, repentance of your sins is much more difficult than that, be- 
cause there are the little masters of precinct committeemen, of state 
committeemen, of states attorneys, of sheriffs, county officials, of al- 
dermen, of councilmen, of mayors, of governors, congressmen and 
judges, and all of the elaborate paraphernalia of our democratic sys- 
tem of popular choice. The whole is the sum of the parts and the 
whole will be no better than the parts. 


So I say to you, look to the parts, not to just the major parts, but 
all of the parts, in this elaborate mechanism. It will keep you busy a 
lot of your time, but it will be worth it. You might even end by getting 
infected yourself in running for something and that would be a very 
good thing indeed. 

It seems to me that government is like a pump, and what it 
pumps up is just what we are, a fair sample of the intellect and morals 
of the people, no better, no worse. 

Well, you say that this sort of pious preaching about better citi- 
zenship is grammar-school stuff and everybody has said the same 
thing since Plato, and so they have. And also, we have been complain- 
ing about government ever since Plato, at least, when the human race 
has even dared to complain about its managers. 

Here and there, now and then, we do something, as you have 
done in California under your honored and esteemed Governor Earl 
Warren. Indeed, I am optimistic that things are getting better on the 
whole, especially since we have been slugged in that most sensitive 
of all our parts, the pocketbook, as never before. 

But there is a very long way to go. So I should like to lecture you 
a bit about the self-education of voters who want to expiate their sins, 
if any. I mean if there are any such voters, not sins. 

In the London Times Literary Supplement, I recently saw this in 
a review of two American books: 

"The cleaning-up of American civic and political life is the prere- 
quisite of any cleaning-up of crime and criminal. It is no use blaming 
the police for winking at the bookies when the elected sheriffs and a 
whole raft of elected officials and judges are paid from their takings. 
It is no use blaming the law-enforcement officers if the masses of the 
people do not respect their laws, which happens with gambling, slot 
machines and liquor in dry states and so on and so on." 

I agree with that little quote emphatically. You are not going to 
clean up crime and corruption until you clean up civil life. Who is go- 
ing to do that? You are going to do it or it isn't going to be done. 

In Illinois I have moved against the slot machine and commercial 
gambling by using the state police where local officials refused to do 
their duty. The good people applauded, but they went right on play- 
ing the slot machines in the country clubs, in their lodges and in their 
veterans' posts. 

But, my friends, if it is against the law in the corner saloons, it is 
against the law in the country club, too, and how much respect and 
how much leadership are the citizens going to have who practice a 
double standard of law observance? They have stopped their own 
mouths and tied up their own hands, but they still complain about 
law enforcement. 

And what would you think about the banker who complains 


when you clean up gambling in his town because it reduces bank 
deposits, or the real-estate owner who complains because the tenants 
don't pay as much rent when the restaurant and the tavern on the 
ground floor have to stop gambling? 

I have had those experiences and many more besides, including 
the varieties of business men who will corrupt a state inspector to dis- 
regard some law violation. I can fire the inspector if I can catch him. 
But I can't fire the business man. 

Corruption in government is the only issue in this campaign, ac- 
cording to my very distinguished opponent. I think he means it is the 
only issue that the various factions of the Republican party can agree 
upon, probably. 

But, my friends, it should be an issue in every campaign for 
every office from top to bottom in all of this elaborate political hier- 
archy, not just this year, but every year, because right or wrong, 
whether you believe in the pump analogy in our political life or not, 
the responsibility for our moral standards rests heavily upon the men 
and women in public life. 

Public confidence in the integrity of the Government is indis- 
pensable to faith in democracy; and when we lose faith in the system, 
we have lost faith in everything we fight and spend for. 

Then there is always that sinister man on horseback waiting in 
the wings to come in. When we get so discontented, we look for the 
ultimate solution; and the solution always has its lamentable and in- 
evitable consequences which are so familiar or should be. 

As a Democrat, as an office holder and aspirant for the greatest 
office on earth, I have not nor will I condone, excuse or explain away 
wrongdoing or moral obliquity in public office, whoever the guilty, 
or wherever they are stationed. What's more, I have had the satisfac- 
tion of firing and prosecuting a good many, and I mean from both 

One dishonest public officer is one too many. A dishonest official 
is as faithless to his party as to his office, and our political parties 
must never flounder on the rocks of moral equivocation. There have 
been cases of corruption, bribery, venality involving a minute fraction 
of all the tens of thousands of people in Federal service. 

Many of these cases have been discovered and exposed, I'm hap- 
py to say, by Democrats, especially by Democratic Senators and Con- 
gressmen keeping watch over the spending of public funds. I need 
only mention such names as Senator Estes Kefauver; Senator Paul H. 
Douglas; Senator J. William Fulbright; Stuart Symington; your own 
Congressman, Cecil King; Congressman Frank Chelf of Kentucky, 
and many others. 

In fact, I induced an old friend, Stephen Mitchell, who has lately 
been counsel to the Chelf committee conducting the investigation of 


the Department of Justice, to let me nominate him for Chairman of 
the Democratic National Committee. 

And I am reminded of what Justice Charles Evans Hughes said 
during the Harding era scandals. He said this: "Neither political party 
has a monopoly of virtue or of rascality. Let wrong be exposed and 
punished, but let no partisan Pecksniff affect a holier-than-thou atti- 
tude. Guilt is personal and knows no party." 

There is a great danger in this very healthy discussion of corrup- 
tion in government which I hope gentlemen like you do not overlook: 
The problem of government is a problem of recruiting first-rate per- 
sonnel. Basically, that is the problem, just as it is the major problem 
in your business. The reward for honest, able public service is too 
often complaint, criticism, abuse and ingratitude. 

It would be a tragic disaster if we forgot the tens of thousands of 
honest, conscientious public servants. Generalities about crime and 
corruption in government which embrace the many good with the 
few bad can only make it harder to induce good people to enter pub- 
lic service. 

We do not lose faith in the banking system because a few bank- 
ers turn out to be embezzlers. When you realize that American pri- 
vate business is swindled out of more than a billion dollars each year 
by its employees, from clerks to executives, it is not too remarkable, 
however deplorable, that government should occasionally be swin- 

For the information of the public and the morale of the multitude 
of decent, faithful men and women on whom government depends, it 
is just as important to recognize and support the good as it is to rout 
out and to punish the bad. 

It does no good for the public service, where recruitment is none 
too easy, anyway, what with the salary competition of private busi- 
ness, when honest, conscientious public servants quit because they 
don't care to be abused and ridiculed any longer. 

I know what I am talking about. I am the Governor of one of the 
largest states in the Union and I have had my recruitment problems. 

I had an experience only last week when a very good friend of 
mine, a Republican from Chicago, told me that a revenue agent had 
been in to audit his returns. He had fallen into conversation with him, 
and this young, able lawyer, a recent graduate from a well-known 
law school who was doing this to get experience, said: "I am going to 
quit. I have gone to office after office and I have been greeted by 
business men and taxpayers as though I were a thief, not they." 

And look at it, not alone from the point of view of the mischiev- 
ous effect on a gullible public, but also from the point of view of the 
consequences to the public service as a whole. 

I wonder how much the people know of the stifling, the choking 


effect of irresponsible witchhunting, the paralysis of initiative, the 
hesitancy and the intimidation that follow in the wake of broad, gen- 
eralized accusations and impede bold imagination, able thought and 
discussion, which are the anvil of public policy. 

I am frank to say that I get a little confused by corruption in 
politics. We tend to think of it as something so simple— the simple, 
unsophisticated terms of graft, of cash on the barrel head— but its 
forms are many and I think of another form which we witness every 
day and to which I have become acutely sensitive in my brief experi- 
ence in the public service. 

Perhaps the proper description is not corrupt, but expedient, for 
the legislator— be he in Sacramento, or Springfield, Illinois, or Wash- 
ington, D.C.— who will vote for all kinds of special-interest bills to 
catch or to hold some votes while he prates piously about economy 
and indignantly about waste. Call that what you will. Condone it as 
you please. Even profit from it as you do now and then. Its cost to 
you is infinitely greater than all thievery and rascality that captures 
the headlines. 

Have you ever heard of a candidate who was against economy 
and efficiency? Of course not. It is part of the standard repertoire. 

Everybody is for economy, efficiency and honesty and against 
waste, sin, corruption and communism. But how about the logrolling 
for laws, or their repeal to serve the interest of some group at the pub- 
he expense, to catch some votes or for fear of losing some? 

Many things are done which seem to be hard to distinguish from 
outright bribery. Yet we will condone the one and condemn the other. 

I have seen many a legislator vote for every appropriation dur- 
ing a legislative session and against every tax, and babble about econ- 
omy and fiscal responsibilities at the very same time, and so have you. 
And what is more, they will be elected over and over again. 

In the last session of my Legislature in Illinois, I presented a very 
tight budget that called for no general-purpose taxes, or tax increases 
in spite of all the general-cost increases in the previous two years, and 
I called upon the Legislature not to add to that budget without sub- 
tracting from it in order to keep it in balance. 

What do you think they did? They subtracted $300,000 and added 
$50,000,000. I hope it isn't indelicate to advise you that it was an 
overwhelming Republican Legislature in both houses. 

The Republican leader in that session sponsored and passed a 
bill to increase all old-age pension allotments 10 per cent automati- 
cally, although we have a system of automatic adjustment in accord- 
ance with living costs. The cost of that measure we estimated at 
roughly $14,000,000, but he made no effort whatever to provide any 
of the money with which to pay for it. 

I noted in my veto message that they had omitted from the bill 


the dependent children and the recipients of general relief— I suppose 
because they were not organized politically. 

I could entertain you at some length with the difficulty I had to 
get one Republican to vote to cut a large appropriation and thereby 
balance the budget at all in a previous session. Indeed, if I recounted 
all of my experiences of this kind, I am afraid you might get the im- 
pression that I am slightly partisan. 

But I am sure you will forgive me if I say, from where I sit, the 
carefully cultivated impression that Democrats are all extravagant 
and Republicans all provident is a fairy tale, and part of the phony 
folklore that careful citizens will examine carefully. 

And perhaps you will also, on closer consideration of the per- 
formance—timid, expedient, demagogic or otherwise or worse— of a 
lot of people in public office, share with me the growing confusion 
about ethics and morals and corruption in our public life. 

Surely, there must be some higher standards and some better test 
than simply bribery for cash, but I dare say that the only way that 
we will attain some higher standard of ethics and of responsibility 
and of courage in public life will be compounded heavily of forbear- 
ance yourself from exerting selfish pressures plus some positive ap- 
plause and tangible support for the guy who is playing it straight 
morally and ethically, as well as legally, in spite of the fact that you 
will probably not agree with him on the merits of the issues and ac- 
tions many times. 

Indeed, sometimes he may not even bear your party label. Bear 
in mind, too, that the "special-interest" people, especially what we 
call the hoodlums and gangsters, are always very free with campaign 
contributions for the right candidates at the right time. But enough 
of this. 

Just remember that all that is gold to a politician does not glitter, 
and that to be good and stay in office, he needs a lot of help from 
people who don't want anything from him except to be good. 

For far too many of us, the presidential election is a quadrennial 
orgy of absorption in political matters all centering around the single 
issue of the identity of the man who will serve as President for the 
next four years. 

It seems to me to contain some subconscious element of expia- 
tion for past sins. It is as if that large percentage of us who pay no 
attention to politics in government for three years remorsefully seek 
to repair the deficiency by talking loudly in the fourth year about the 
'importance of electing the right man— our man— to the highest public 
office of all. 

If the people at large can only be brought to understand the wis- 
dom of what we are shouting and elect our man, then the nation will 
be safe for at least four years more. We have discharged our respon- 


sibilities as citizens, a little tardily perhaps, but nevertheless ade- 
quately and effectively. Then we can turn exclusively to other 
concerns until the time rolls around again and we must clamorously 
assure the national salvation. 

Now, I say we must rid ourselves of the easy notion that the 
right man in one job solves all of our problems. We need to level out 
this sharp but narrow peak of citizens to enter politics and govern- 
ment in presidential years with the long and deep valley of apathy 
that lies in between. 

There are other pitfalls to be found in our traditional habits of 
thinking about politics and about party leaders. We like to reduce 
complex issues to simple slogans. Better still, we like to deal in per- 
sonalities to the exclusion of issues. And to the extent we must un- 
avoidably get into issues at all, we like to weave them all into a simple 
sort of brightly colored cloak which will cover our man completely 
and distinguish him clearly from his competitors. 

This creates the comfortable delusion that we have not subordi- 
nated principles to personalities and that we know exactly where our 
man stands on everything. 

Most importantly, it lends itself beautifully to the oversimplified 
kind of argument we love so much in which we can throw around 
freely the sharp, short and fighting and meaningless words like Lib- 
eral, Conservative, Leftist, Rightist, Socialist, Fascist, Communist and 
all of their shopworn and barren brood. 

These are all conventions which afflict the layman as well as the 
party professionals. 

Another conventional belief of politicians is what we call the mvth 
of the monolithic vote— that all the votes in a bloc go one way or the 
other in response to the candidate's willingness to go along with the 
official position of the bloc. 

I think it is a myth, and if I am right I believe this to be one of 
the most hopeful and reassuring elements in our democracy. 

The myth operates to frighten and to stampede many office hold- 
ers into doing things against their own inclinations and their own bet- 
ter judgment. Its exposure is the beginning of real statesmanship for 
many who have been taken in by it. 

Large organizations of Americans simply do not vote uniformly 
in support of what are represented to be their special interests or pre- 
dilections, and that is true whatever be the nature of the tie that 
binds the group and apparently sets it apart from its fellow men, 
whether it be regional, economic circumstances, geographical attach- 
ment or other divisive factors. 

The Senatorial election in Ohio in 1950 was a most persuasive 
demonstration in this respect, as you all know. I had a similar experi- 
ence in Illinois with the State Federation of Labor in 1948. 


Last year, I vetoed five of the nine bills passed by the Illinois 
Legislature and included in the official legislative program of the Il- 
linois State Department of the American Legion. I vetoed special- 
interest bills of all kinds calling for more than $40,000,000 of 
appropriations and I was solemnly warned in every case that I would 
lose all of the votes of the groups affected. It is a mighty good thing 
I didn't run for Governor; I wouldn't have got a vote in the state. 

Well, my friends, I didn't believe it then; I don't believe it now, 
although if I should return to Los Angeles as a private citizen after 
the first of the year, I should be glad to have lunch with you again 
and eat crow. 

In any event, whatever my own fate as a politician, I do know 
that sound government ends when the leaders of special groups call 
the tune, whether they represent capital, labor or farmers, veterans, 
pensioners or anyone else. And I am convinced that the public servant 
that does the right things no matter whose toes are stepped on does 
not lose all of the votes of the hands that are even with those toes. 

Now, there is something else I should like to mention. The twen- 
ty years since the Japanese invaded Manchuria and the Democrats 
invaded Washington has been a period of change as rapid and violent 
as any in our history. 

The forces that demanded change shattered many societies. We 
have contained within the American system of democratic govern- 
ment popular control and civil liberties. There has been no break in 
the continuity of our institutions. The United States has held to the 
course of development which it has been following for 150 years. 

Now, this triumph of stability in a time of world revolution was 
not accomplished by pretending that there were shortcuts to safety, 
to prosperity, to freedom or social justice, or that they could be 
bought at a discount. And we must not minimize the difficulties or 
the dangers now in the presidential campaign year. 

I say this to you in conclusion because I would not have you 
think that I believe that all there is to good government is honesty 
and efficiency. These are only means to an end. 

In the tragic days of Mussolini, the trains in Italy ran on time as 
never before and I am told in their way, their horrible way, that the 
Nazi concentration-camp system in Germany was a model of horrible 
efficiency. The really basic thing in government is policy. Bad admin- 
istration, to be sure, can destroy good policy, but good administration 
can never save bad policy. 

So what I beg of you to ponder in all your governmental judg- 
ment is not just how to do a job, but, and far more important, what 
to do and if you can find a man who knows both what to do and how 
to do it, well, you are very lucky indeed. 

World Policy 

Veterans Memorial Auditorium 

September 9, 1952 

Mr. Nicholson and Ladies and Gentlemen: 

I want to share with you, if I may, a letter from a California lady 
who knew my parents when they lived here fifty years ago. She 
writes that after Grover Cleveland was nominated for the Presi- 
dency in 1892 and my own grandfather was nominated for Vice 
President, she named her two kittens Grover Cleveland and Adlai 
Stevenson. Grover, she writes me, couldn't stand the excitement of 
the campaign and died before the election. But Adlai lived to be a 
very old cat. 

And this, my friends, is obviously for me the most comforting 
incident of the campaign so far. 

As your chairman said, because of my prior service here and 
because San Francisco is our window to the Far East, I wanted to 
talk soberly tonight about foreign policy. 

We think and we talk these days about our dangers. We should 
think and talk more about our opportunities. 

Victory or defeat for a nation, as for a man, springs, first of all, 
from its attitudes toward the world. The men who built the West 
had victory in their hearts and songs on their lips. They were doers, 
not worriers. They really believed that the Lord helps those who help 

There is something badly wrong, it seems to me, with the per- 
spective of men who call the last ten years the "dismal decade." 

And there is something odd, too, in a point of view which at 
once endorses the nation's foreign policies and promises to save you 
at the same time from such enlightened bungling. 

It was some such curious mixture which was served up in Phila- 
delphia on last Thursday. Now I am reluctant to believe that my 
honored opponent has been persuaded that bad history is good pol- 
itics—perhaps he hopes that the Republican Old Guard will swallow 
his bitter pill of approval of our policies if it is sugar-coated with 
condemnation of Democrats. 



At any rate, however we interpret it, his speech in Philadelphia 
does not dispose of foreign policy as an issue in this campaign. The 
General's ten-point foreign program, of which three points were "throw 
the rascals out," and seven were a recital of the same foreign-policy 
goals which the "Democratic rascals" have been following for years, 
does not, it seems to me, contribute much to our foreign-policy dis- 

But foreign policy consists of much more than the setting of 
goals. Even the extremist wing of the Republican party will not really 
argue that peace and prosperity are bad or that the nation does not 
want allies. 

The rub comes in doing anything to make progress toward these 
goals which we are glad the Republican candidates agree upon. A 
President can suggest but he cannot pass laws. That's the job of Con- 

And the most powerful and numerous wing of the Republican 
party— the wing that would control all of the important Congres- 
sional committees— would not support the program which the Re- 
publican presidential candidate endorsed last Thursday. 

How do I know? Well, because the Old Guard has been fighting 
that same identical program for years. 

Let me illustrate. 

My opponent spoke approvingly of foreign trade. Now, among 
other things, it is not exactly a new idea to Democrats that a thriving 
foreign trade means better markets for American agriculture and in- 
dustry and a better balance in world economy. 

I don't think even the Republicans will try to take credit for the 
Reciprocal Trade Agreements program. Certainly the Old Guard 
won't. It has been trying to wreck that program every time it comes 
up for renewal— as it does again next year. 

I don't think that a Republican President could even get a bill 
to renew it out of a committee— not, at any rate, without crippling 
amendments. Or are we to assume that the Republican leaders in 
Congress have been opposing it in the past not from conviction but 
just because it was a Democratic program? 

I could go on— talking of their attacks on our assistance program, 
even on the defense budgets, and similar knife work— for the Repub- 
lican record in Congress is as long as it is wrong. 

How, then, can a disunited party unite the country for the hard 
tasks that lie ahead? I don't think it can. No matter how great their 
commander, divided and embittered men do not win battles. 

America is threatened as never before. The question history asks 
and which we must answer is whether the idea of individualism— the 
idea of personal freedom for you and me— is equal to the idea of col- 
lectivism—the idea of personal subordination to the state; whether 


the idea of maximum personal liberty is equal to the idea of maxi- 
mum personal discipline. 

This ancient contest between freedom and despotism, which is 
renewed in every generation, is acute in ours. And the most impor- 
tant single event, it seems to me, in our history is that it is our turn 
to be freedom's shield and sanctuary. 

I don't think that war is an inevitable part of this contest. Even 
the most ambitious and ruthless men do not deliberately invite de- 
struction on the basis of their power. They can throw the iron dice, 
but they know they cannot foretell the fortunes of war. 

We who are free must have great strength in order that weak- 
ness will not tempt the ambitious. And the measure of the strength 
we must have is not what we would like to afford but what the ad- 
versary compels us to afford. 

With 85 per cent of our budget allocated to defense, it is the 
Soviet Union which now fixes the level of our defense expenditures 
and thus of our tax rates. The only way to emancipate ourselves from 
this foreign control, and to cut taxes substantially, is first to develop 
our strength and then to find the means of ending the armaments 

And here let me say something to those abroad who may mis- 
take our present wrangling for weakness. We have always had dif- 
ferences of opinion which have produced confusion in this country 
—especially in campaign years. But it is the kind of noise that, to 
the inner ear, is the sweet music of free institutions. It is the kind 
of noise that has produced the harmony of firm purpose whenever 
our people have been put to the test. 

No one can predict, and it would be foolish to try to predict, 
how and when the peaceful purpose of our power will succeed in 
creating a just and durable peace. But are our efforts conditional 
upon assurance of prompt success? To answer "yes" would be to 
accept the certainty of eventual defeat. 

Co-existence is not a form of passive acceptance of things as 
they are. It is waging the contest between freedom and tyranny by 
peaceful means. It will involve negotiation and adjustment— com- 
promise but not appeasement— and I will never shrink from these if 
they would advance the world toward a secure peace. 

Though progress may be slow, it can be steady and sure. A wise 
man does not try to hurry history. Many wars have been avoided by 
patience and many have been precipitated by reckless haste. 

In Europe, our efforts to build patiently for peace are meeting 
with success. The Marshall Plan has brought, as we all know, a strik- 
ing improvement in the political and economic conditions. The North 
Atlantic Treaty Organization is building a strong system of military 
defense. Europe is not yet wholly secure against subversion from 


within or attack from without, but this goal of security is, at least, in 

I wish I could say the same for Asia, but there would be no 
greater disservice to the American people than to underestimate the 
gravity of the dangers that America faces in this area, perhaps for 
many years to come. 

Now, it's about America's relations with Asia that I should like 
to talk with you tonight, soberly and realistically. 

Across the continent of Asia more than a billion of the world's 
peoples are churning in one of history's greatest upheavals. All the 
struggles of man over the centuries— economic, political, spiritual- 
have come together in Asia and now seem to be reaching a climax. 

The causes behind that upheaval are many and varied. But there 
is nothing complicated about what the people want. They want a 
decent living— and they want freedom. 

The word used most frequently by Asians to describe their aspi- 
rations is nationalism. 

Nationalism to Asians means a chance to stand on their own 
feet, a chance to govern themselves, a chance to develop their re- 
sources for their own welfare, and a chance to prove that the color 
of their skins has nothing to do with their right to walk with self- 
respect among their fellow men in the world. Nationalism to them 
means the end of a legalized inferiority. It means pride, spirit, faith. 

This type of nationalism is not inconsistent with closer co-opera- 
tion among nations nor with the need for an enforceable peace. The 
Asians actually regard freedom and national independence as the 
doorway to international order— just as we do. 

Russia's interest in Asia is nothing new. 

The expansionist aims of Russia did not change with the passing 
of the Czars. But today the steel glove of a revolutionary ideology 
covers the heavy hand of imperialist expansion. 

The strategy of communism in Asia is to pose as the champion 
—the only champion— of the Asian peoples. Communism has not cre- 
ated the cause or the forces behind Asia's vast upheaval. It is at- 
tempting to give direction to those forces. It seeks to impose its own 
label on the multiple revolutions going on in Asia today by iden- 
tifying itself with the deeply felt needs and hopes of the Asian 

There's an important difference, it seems to me, between com- 
munism as we view it and communism as some of the Asian peoples 
view it. When we think of communism we think of what we are 
going to lose. When many of the Asiatics think of communism they 
think of what they are going to win— especially if they believe that 
they have nothing to lose. 

It's important that we know these things and think about them, 


for we shall never be able to cope with communism unless we under- 
stand the emotional basis of its appeal. 

The Communists have failed to incite the workers to revolution 
in Western Europe. They have failed to turn the Western Allies one 
against the other. 

But the Communists may well believe that in the aspirations 
and the grievances of the East they now have the key to world power. 
They hope, and perhaps even expect, that the West cannot rise to 
the challenge in the East. 

Furthermore, they may not feel the same need for quick and 
tidy solutions that is felt in certain quarters in our own country. They 
may believe that they can afford to have a patience equal to the 
stakes involved. 

And the stakes are nothing less than an overwhelming prepon- 
derance of power— for with Asia under control, they could turn with 
new energy and vast new resources in an effort to win a bloodless 
victory in a weakened, frightened Europe. 

These Communist expectations define the dimensions of the 
threat we face in Asia and of the tasks which lie ahead for us— tasks 
which can be met only by disciplined, resourceful, imaginative, and 
reasoned effort. It is an effort which has two parts: defense and de- 

There is active fighting, as we all know, in Malaya and in In- 
do-China. Have we given fitting recognition to the hard, bitter and 
prolonged efforts of the British, the French, the native Malayan and 
Indo-Chinese forces? These efforts have involved heavy loss of life 
and great material costs. 

What will the defensive task require of us in these areas, and in 
the Philippines, Formosa, Japan, and Korea? What contributions, 
what commitments to security in this area should we make and can 
we make to the emerging system of Pacific defense? 

These are some of the questions, the hard, the ugly questions 
we must face before disaster, not afterward. This is no time, it seems 
to me, to kid ourselves with press agents' platitudes. 

In Korea we took a long step toward building a security sys- 
tem in Asia. As an American I am proud that we had the courage 
to resist that ruthless, cynical aggression; and I am equally proud 
that we have had the fortitude to refuse to risk extension of that war 
despite extreme Communist provocations and reckless Republican 

Now whatever unscrupulous politicians may say to exploit grief, 
tragedy and discontent for votes, history will never record that Korea 
was a "useless" war, unless today's heroism is watered with tomor- 
row's cowardice. Let me say only this: 

I believe we may in time look back at Korea as a major turning 


point in history— a turning point which led not to another terrible 
war, but to the first historic demonstration that an effective system 
of collective security is possible. 

Having failed to defeat us on the field of battle, the enemy there 
now seeks to defeat us by prolonging the negotiations and by ex- 
hausting our patience. 

But some men in this country seem to think that if definitive 
victory cannot be won, we should either take reckless military ac- 
tion or give the whole thing up. Such advice plays into the enemy's 
hands. The contest with tyranny is not a hundred-yard dash— it is a 
test of endurance. 

This defensive effort in Korea and elsewhere in Asia is building 
a shield behind which we have the opportunity to assist in the other 
great task— the task of development. 

Listening to the debate over China this past year, I had the dis- 
tinct impression at times that the very Congressmen whose vocal 
cords were most active in the cause of isolation and against foreign 
entanglements were the same ones who were now talking as if they 
had wanted us to take part in a civil war in China. 

It would seem to me, my friends, that the Republican critics 
could better demonstrate the good faith of their concern for Asia by 
doing something about India and I mean doing something about 
India today rather than talking about China yesterday. I don't think 
that tearful and interminable post-mortems about China will save any 
souls for democracy in the rest of Asia, the Near East and in Africa. 

India is not caught up in civil strife. It can be helped in a way 
that is natural to us and best for it; help in the ways of peace and of 
social progress. India has to grow more food. It has to restore its land. 
It needs new resources of power. In short, it needs a democratic 
helping hand in the development programs it has already charted 
for itself. 

The same is true of many other countries. 

It is help of this kind that we can provide by sending agricul- 
tural experts, engineers and other trained people to these countries, 
and through programs of assistance to economic development. 

By working with each country to expand the production of goods 
which are needed by other countries in the region, a self-generating 
and self-financing cycle of trade and development can be initiated, 
which will reduce and can eventually eliminate the need for Ameri- 
can aid. At the same time, we can enlarge our export markets and 
develop new sources of the products we need to import. 

Land reform is, of course, fundamental to the problem of Asia. 
But in these ways and by this kind of friendly advice and counsel 
we can help to guide this economic development in ways which will 
give powerful support to democratic political institutions. 


These programs are in accordance, it seems to me, with our best 
traditions. And I want to assure our friends in Asia that America 
will never seek to dominate their political and their economic de- 
velopment. We will not try to make their societies over in the image 
of our own. On the contrary, we respect the integrity of their insti- 
tutions and the rich values of their cultures. We expect to leam as 
well as to teach. 

These programs are primarily concerned with the material needs 
and wants of individual men and women. Yet we do not make the 
mistake of believing that the answer to communist materialism is a 
different brand of materialism. 

The answer to communism is, in the old-fashioned phrase, good 
works— good works inspired by love and dedicated to the whole man. 
The answer to the inhumanity of communism is humane respect for 
the individual. And the men and the women of Asia desire not only 
to rise from wretchedness of the body but from abasement of the 
spirit as well. 

In other words, we must strive for a harmony of means and of 
ends in our relations with Asia— and indeed with the rest of the world. 
The means of our co-operation are primarily material. 

If we believe the Communist threat to Asia is dangerous to us, 
then it is in our own self-interest to help them defend and develop, 
adjusting our policies to the constantly changing circumstances in a 
world of accelerating change. But we must not, in our necessary con- 
cern for the urgent tasks of defense and development, permit the 
means to obscure the end. That end is the widening and the deep- 
ening of freedom and of respect for the dignity and the worth of a 

Some may say to you that this is visionary stuff. To this I reply 
that history has shown again and again that the self-styled realists 
are the real visionaries— for their eyes are fixed on a past that cannot 
be recaptured. It was Woodrow Wilson, with his dream of the League 
of Nations, who was the truly practical man— not the Old Guard who 
fought him to the death. And in the fateful summer of 1940 it was 
the vision of a Churchill that saw beyond Dunkerque to victory. 

I say that America has been called to greatness. The summons 
of the twentieth century is a summons to our vision, to our humanity, 
to our practicality. If these provide the common purpose of America 
and Asia, of our joint enterprise, of our progress together, we need 
have no fear for the future. Because it will belong to free men. 

World Policy 


September 1, 1952 

I am very glad to be able to be here in Grand Rapids on this Labor 
Day holiday. I've been in politics only about four years and have 
made the unhappy discovery that in politics and public office there 
are no holidays— especially in campaign years. 

But there are compensations. You have opportunities to meet 
old friends, like Blair Moody, whom I have known for many years, 
first as a distinguished newspaper correspondent in Washington and 
latterly as the vigorous, enlightened Senator from this all-important 
state. And you can thank my esteemed friend Governor Williams for 
getting Blair Moody into public life. 

The two of them represent the hope of our political future- 
young, intelligent, clean, honest men who are prepared to dedicate 
their best years to public service. When there are more men like them 
giving their time and talents to our service our political life will be 
better. And I am, of course, delighted that they have chosen the 
Democratic party, because I did too. 

I am privileged to count myself among the friends and admirers 
of one of your great citizens. I knew Arthur Vandenberg well, and 
served with him at four or five of the great international conferences 
following the war. He paid me the courtesy of some flattering cor- 
respondence and proposed me as his successor on one of the major 
committees of the United Nations in 1947. 

He was a great champion of our bipartisan— or, as he preferred to 
call it, our un-partisan— foreign policy. Senator Vandenberg was never 
doctrinaire. He was a practical and realistic man whose primary con- 
cern was the protection and advancement of the welfare and safety 
of his country— a foreign policy that far-seeing men and women of 
both parties could support. And Arthur Vandenberg refused to play 
politics with foreign policy. 

These are good rules to follow today. I, for one, intend to do my 
best to follow them because foreign policy is a deadly serious busi- 
ness. I think it should be discussed in this campaign soberly and with 



We could pay a sad price in misunderstanding or miscalculation 
abroad by what we say intemperately, unwisely and hypocritically 
to beguile the voters in this campaign. Our purpose should not be to 
exploit people's fears, not to make empty promises of magic solutions, 
but instead to discuss the real problems that confront our country in 
the world, and what we actually can and should do about them. 

I want to say, clearly and unmistakably, that I believe the es- 
sential direction of our foreign policy is right— building the unity and 
collective strength of the free countries to prevent the expansion of 
Soviet dominion and control over one nation after another. 

I think we must join other nations in building military, economic 
and political strength which can gradually but surely lessen the rela- 
tive power of the Soviet Union on world events. And I think we 
must continue to work steadily at the frustrating task of putting in- 
ternational affairs on a permanent basis of law and order. 

These are the key purposes of our present policy as I understand 
it. They are the purposes that we are seeking to accomplish through 
the United Nations; through the Atlantic, Pacific, and Western Hemi- 
sphere regional security treaties; through our programs of military 
and economic aid to other countries; through the Point Four pro- 
gram; and through our financial and commercial policies, including 
the reciprocal trade program. 

These things make sense. If we continue with steps like these, 
adjusting and changing and improving them as we can, war be- 
comes an alternative of diminishing hope to the enemy, and commu- 
nism an alternative of diminishing attraction among the uncommitted 
peoples of the world. 

Now in all I have said here, I do not believe there is any funda- 
mental issue between the Republican candidate for President and 
myself. As far as I know, he, like myself, approves the basic direction 
our foreign policy has been following. 

Where there is an issue, however, is between the two Republican 
parties that contested the nomination with such violence at Chicago, 
because the Republican party is hopelessly divided over foreign pol- 
icy. Senator Vandenberg, with all his great prestige and persuasive- 
ness, was never able to win over the reactionary wing of his party 
to his own enlightened understanding of the Twentieth Century. 

That wing of the party seems stronger if not wiser since we lost 
the benefit of Senator Vandenberg's leadership. And I say that with 
no partisan satisfaction, because the difficulties we confront as a 
nation in this revolutionary age transcend any considerations of 
political advantage. And I say to you in all sincerity that winning the 
peace is far dearer to me, as it is to you, Democrats and Republicans 
alike, than winning the election. 

My very distinguished opponent has already had occasion to 


disagree with conspicuous Republicans on foreign-policy issues. He 
has differed sharply with members of his party who have assailed the 
American action in Korea to stop and turn back Communist aggres- 
sion. He has gone further to set himself against the views of impor- 
tant members of his party who have called for enlarging the Korean 

I think he has done us all a service by saying these things. He 
knows, as every realistic American knows, that if we had not chosen 
to fight in Korea, sooner or later we would have had to fight a bigger 
war somewhere else. The memory of Munich is still fresh. The quicker 
aggression is stopped the better. And, as it is, even with all the heart- 
break and suffering and cost of Korea— even with the frustration of 
the long stalemate over the armistice— it is quite possible that our 
action in Korea may have headed off World War III. We may never 
know the answer to that, but the tragic history of piecemeal aggres- 
sion is plain for all to see. 

I don't envy the General's impossible dilemma as a result of the 
conflict within the party he now heads. Carrying out an effective, 
positive, forward-looking foreign policy in a democracy requires sup- 
port not only in the Executive, but also in the Legislative branch of 
Government. How is it possible when a large proportion of his party's 
members in the Senate, and more than half of them in the House, have 
consistently opposed what he approves? And if elected— he would 
probably carry back to Washington with him most of the same Re- 

But the Republican leaders evidently have a solution for this 
dismal dilemma because their Vice-Presidential candidate the other 
day asserted his belief that Republicans in Congress who have op- 
posed our bipartisan foreign policy will change and reverse their at- 
titude if their party is successful in this election. ( I thought they were 
talking about the election, but maybe this is what they mean by "it's 
time for a change." ) 

Must we conclude from this that a lot of Republican leaders 
have been opposing our foreign policy just for political reasons? 
Should matters of this extreme gravity be entrusted to men who 
trade their convictions so lightly? 

I may be naive but I don't think a man should be in public office 
whose attitude on our most important business depends on whether 
a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. Surely a vote 
on foreign policy in the Congress is more important than voting in 
a popularity or a beauty contest. 

Happily the Democratic party is united on foreign policy. We 
have our differences. If we didn't we would hardly be Democrats, 
but our differences are not over foreign policy. Democratic support 
of this policy is no new, sudden, confused or pretended attitude. We 


have worked for the building of that program from the beginning 
with the advice and help of some far-sighted Republicans like Arthur 

We know much about its weak points and its strong points, 
and the ugly and the happy realities of our period in history. We 
believe passionately in the Tightness of our directions. Our deepest 
convictions and highest hopes are involved, for this is the means of 
preserving our most cherished institutions, our freedoms, our future 
as a Christian nation. 

The price is high, dangerously high, and we look hopefully to 
the time when it can be reduced, but meanwhile we must forge the 
great tools for man's noblest work— achieving freedom, justice and 
dignity for nations and individuals. 

For a century, from Waterloo to the Marne, the British fleet pro- 
tected us, but now it is our turn. It is up to this mighty nation with 
our allies to advance the hopes through which man may eventually 
fulfill his destiny as a child of God. 

Michigan, I'm sure, takes enduring pride in the work its sons 
have done and are doing for peace. Your present Democratic Senator 
is Arthur Vandenberg's successor, not only by appointment but by 
conviction. He is a strong supporter of the positive, comprehensive 
foreign policy this nation has developed to oppose communism and 
achieve peace. And he also stands for the best in the progressive 
Democratic tradition in the domestic field. 

It is because of Blair Moody and Mennen Williams and men like 
them, running, I'm proud to say, on the Democratic ticket in Michi- 
gan and other states, that our party can offer to voters of this country 
a firm, consistent assurance that the clock will not be turned back 
around the world, and that the decency and quality of our public life 
here at home is not deteriorating but improving, and very conspicu- 
ously in Michigan. 

World Policy 

September 1, 1952 

I am glad that I can spend a few minutes here with you this afternoon. 

This noon I spoke to a great crowd in Cadillac Square about labor 
and my hopes, indeed the hopes of all of us, management and labor 
alike, for industrial peace in this arsenal of an embattled world. I made 
some suggestions about what is needed in my judgment to replace the 
Taft-Hartley Act. 

Here in Hamtramck I want to talk with you about an entirely dif- 
ferent matter. It is a very serious matter. Last week the Republican 
candidate for President made a speech to the American Legion in New 
York. His speech aroused speculation here and abroad that if he were 
elected, some reckless action might ensue in an attempt to liberate the 
peoples of Eastern Europe from Soviet tyranny. 

Many of you here in Hamtramck and in other cities across the 
country have friends and relatives who are suffering under Soviet con- 
trol behind the Iron Curtain. Last Thursday I discussed their plight 
with Representative Machrowicz and others. We agreed that we would 
all deeply regret it if a false campaign issue were to be built on the 
hopes and fears of these suffering people and on the anxieties of all 
Americans for their liberation. 

The freedom of the descendants of Kosciusko and Masaryk and 
other heroes of the fight for liberty in Eastern Europe is an issue be- 
tween all the free nations and the Soviet Union. It should never be an 
issue between Americans, for we are all united in our desire for their 
liberation from the oppressor and in confidence that freedom will again 
be theirs. 

But I want to make one thing very plain: even if votes could be 
won by it, I would not say one reckless word on this matter during this 
campaign. Some things are more precious than votes. 

The cruel grip of Soviet tyranny upon your friends and relatives 
cannot be loosened by loose talk or idle threats. It cannot be loosened 
by awakening false hopes which might stimulate intemperate action 
that would only lead your brothers to the execution squads; we remem- 
ber only too well how thousands went to their death in Warsaw but a 
few short years ago. 



It cannot be loosened by starting a war which would lead to untold 
suffering for innocent people everywhere; such a course could liberate 
only broken, silent and empty lands. 

We have a responsibility to these suffering peoples. We must con- 
tinue our efforts to outlaw genocide. We must review our immigration 
policies. We must help provide better care for those who succeed in 
escaping from behind the Iron Curtain. 

Above all, we must work with others to build strong and healthy 
societies in the free nations, for we know that the future freedom of 
Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Eastern Germany and the other peo- 
ples who have fallen under Soviet rule depends on the outcome of the 
vast world-wide struggle in which we are engaged. 

Not in the ashes of another world war; only in the atmosphere of 
a peaceful w y orld can the reaffirmation of the right of self-determination 
have any meaning, or can the enslaved nations be free and independent 

I have hoped that this political campaign might reaffirm America's 
dedication to the ideal of freedom and independence for all nations as 
the only solid foundation for a just and durable peace. 

Stalin pledged his word to us to grant these countries liberty after 
World War II. He has violated that pledge. But we have not forgotten 
his pledge and we shall not forget his violation. We will continue to 
work for the day when all peoples will be free to choose their own gov- 
ernment and to walk again erect and unafraid. 

I tell you now that I will never fear to negotiate in good faith with 
the Soviet Union, for to close the door to the conference room is to open 
a door to war. Man's tragedy has all too often been that he has grown 
weary in the search for an honorable alternative to war, and, in desper- 
ate impatience, has turned to violence. 

Action for action's sake is the last resort of mentally and morally 
exhausted men. The free nations must never tire in their search for 
peace. They must always be ready to sit down at the conference table, 
insisting only that any agreement must conform to the spirit of our great 
war-time pledges and the Charter of the United Nations. 

With our friends we will seek patiently and tirelessly for the rule 
of law among nations. That law has been written. It is the Charter of the 
United Nations. It remains for every nation to respect it. That is the 

I think that progress toward that goal depends more on action than 
on angry words. I think the Soviet Union will be influenced only by a 
steady, serious, undeviating determination to build up the strength of 
the free w r orld— not with a view toward war but with a view toward 
preventing war and negotiating the conditions of peace. 

It is on this road to peace that I ask you to join me if you see fit to 
charge me with the honor and burden of the Presidency. I honor that 


office too much to seek votes at the risk of the safety and security of 
our nation. I humbly request that you consider carefully what I have 
said. I deeply fear that great injury could be done to our nation and 
to ordinary men and women everywhere if this political campaign were 
to descend to the level of competitive threats and veiled hints of im- 
prudent action. 

My opponent is an honorable man. He has given the most distin- 
guished military service to his country. I believe that he wants to serve 
the interest of peace and justice just as well and as much as I do. I 
respect his integrity. 

I hope that recent statements by him and his advisers have been 
misunderstood. I cannot believe that they deliberately intend to arouse 
doubts and apprehensions about the steadiness with which America will 
pursue its peaceful purposes. 

I think that their words can be interpreted, if we read them care- 
fully, as an endorsement of the European policies which this Govern- 
ment has been following and with which they have been closely identi- 
fied. This is, I note, the conclusion of the New York Times, a great and 
responsible newspaper which is supporting his candidacy. 

I deeply hope that this will prove to be the case, for we are dealing 
here with something more than the awful abstractions of power politics; 
we are dealing with the lives of millions of our fellow men and our 
kinsmen across the seas. 

Defeat begins in the heart. The peoples of Eastern Europe will 
never lose heart. They have kept their faith alive before, through long 
periods of darkness. We too must keep faith. We must not allow the 
recklessness of despair to find any lodging in our hearts. With indom- 
itable faith and courage, with unfaltering determination, we must con- 
tinue to strive for a future in which all peoples will know the joys of 
liberty for which their fathers have bled and died so often in the eternal 
struggle between freedom and tyranny. 

Labor Policy 

September 1, 1952 

Mayor Cobo, Governor Williams, Senator Moody and all these distin- 
guished guests and my friends of Detroit: 

Let me say at the outset that I am very much flattered, indeed, by the 
presence here of his honor the Mayor of Detroit. I am conscious of your 
recent serious illness, Mr. Cobo, and I am very much flattered by your 
presence here. I trust that your participation in this tremendous holiday 
festivity and your association with so many Democrats won't have 
caused you any relapse. 

I stand before you today as a fugitive from a sweat shop down in 
Springfield, Illinois. Down there the speed-up is in full force, but we 
aren't complaining a bit. In fact, we like it because we believe in our 
job and we are going to win in November. 

This, my friends, is Labor Day of an election year, and I think 
candidates ought to get a day off too. But if they got off they might not 
get in. So I've welcomed the invitation to come to Detroit to talk to 
you about the relationship between the Democratic party, which I 
represent, and the working people, which you represent. 

Contrary to the impressions fostered by some of the press, you are 
not my captives, and I am not your captive. On the contrary, I might as 
well make it clear right now that I intend to do exactly what I think 
right and best for all, for all of us— business, labor, agriculture— alike. 
And I have no doubt that you will do exactly what you think at the 

You are freeborn Americans— a proud and honorable station, car- 
rying with it the right and the responsibility to make up your own 
minds— and so am I. So if either of us thinks in terms of captivity, let's 
agree right here and now on a mutual pact of liberation. 

The interest and the obligation of the President must be the com- 
mon interest. His concern for labor, as for industry, is only as a part of 
the common interest. I would intend to honor that office by complete 
freedom to serve not one man or a few, but the whole nation. And I 
think that is precisely what you would want me to do. 

The relationship between the Democratic party and the working 



people of America is a very simple one. We both believe in equal rights 
for all and in special privileges for none. We both believe that the 
objective of our country and of its Government is to achieve human 
decency to meet human needs and to fulfill human hopes. 

We take honest open pride in what the tremendous progress of the 
last twenty years has meant, not for the Democratic party, but for the 
whole nation. We pulled ourselves, as you know, out of the quicksand 
of depression. In fighting an awful war we did our part and we did it 

We have made America the best place to live and work in the world 
has ever known— a land where men are assured a decent wage and 
security when their work is done; a land where the mother can know 
that her children's opportunities are bright and limitless. 

But these things, my friends, are not permanent. They have to be 
fought for, fought for by each succeeding generation. So it's my obliga- 
tion, I think, to give you my ideas of our common interests, my thoughts 
about our common future. 

I see three sets of common interests in the labor field. These are 
positive interests, constructive interests. We have talked, it seems to me, 
too much in terms of labor wars, too little in terms of labor peace, too 
much in terms of stopping things by law, too little in terms of estab- 
lishing industrial democracy. 

There is our first common interest in securing to all who work the 
minimums of human decency. This means, among other things, that the 
men and women in our working force, some 62 million of us, shall 
receive a decent living wage, insurance against the risks of disability 
and unemployment, and the assurance of solid, not token, security when 
life's work is done. 

It means, too, that we must struggle tirelessly to add to these assur- 
ances equality of work opportunity for every one of us— regardless of 
race, of color or of creed. Human decency is the theme of our history 
and the spirit of our religion. We must never cease trying to write its 
guarantees not just into our laws, but into the hearts and the minds 
of men. 

A second key to our common interest is that the men and women 
in our working force are consumers as well as producers. 

Our welfare is not measured by what we get from the payroll 
clerk, but by what we get at the store and the school and the hospital, 
and by what we have left to put in the bank. Meeting such problems as 
inflation, as housing and the high cost of living is not part of a labor 
policy, it's part of a national policy. It's not just part of a labor program 
because it's part of a national problem. 

The working man cannot and must not think of his welfare as 
something separate and apart from the common good. The interests of 
the factory worker, the white-collar worker, the employer, the farmer 


are all rooted in the soil of national well-being. If your employer's busi- 
ness fails, for example, you are out of a job. We are utterly dependent 
on one another, and what is best for the nation is best for all of us and 
is best for each of us. 

Our third common interest is in the process of collective bargaining 
—the keystone of industrial democracy, of free enterprise. 

Democracy is working when free men solve their own problems in 
their own way and in their own political and industrial communities. 
The 80,000 private collective-bargaining agreements today in effect are 
alternatives to laws and better than laws. 

They are voluntary private solutions which make unnecessary 
involuntary government decisions. They prove that the most useful 
thing the Government can do is to assure a fair bargaining balance by 
guaranteeing to employees the right to act together. 

The only legitimate purpose of a Federal labor-relations law is to 
make private bargaining work better. And that purpose has not, in my 
judgment, been served by the Taft-Hartley Act. 

Now, in 1947, we needed some revisions of the old Wagner Act. 
We needed some new rules for labor peace. Well, we got a new law all 
right— a tangled snarl of legal barbed wire, filled with ugly sneers at 
labor unions and built around the discredited labor injunction. 

I don't say that everything in the Taft-Hartley Act is wrong, it isn't. 
And moreover, I'll say frankly that I don't think it's a slave-labor law, 
either. But I do say that it was biased and politically inspired and has 
not improved labor relations in a single plant. 

We must have a new law and my conclusion is that we can best 
remedy the defects in the old law by scrapping it and starting over 
again. What should be retained from the old law can best be written 
into the new law after the political symbolism of the Taft-Hartley Act 
is behind us. 

Now, if I may, I— and I hope I don't impose upon you— I should 
like to suggest five general principles as the basis for a new labor rela- 
tions law. I believe they represent the public interest in a fair, solid, 
durable pattern of free collective bargaining. And I think labor and 
management can agree on them too, if they'll only throw their guns 
on the table. 

Point number one is that the law must accept labor unions, like 
employer corporations, as the responsible representatives of their mem- 
bers' interests. 

The Taft-Hartley Act assumed that the unions could not be trusted 
to determine whether their members wanted a union shop. After the 
expenditure of millions of dollars to hold thousands of Government- 
conducted elections, in 95 per cent of which the employees voted for 
the union shop, the Congress last year finally repealed this gratuitous 
insult to the labor unions. 


But the Act still prohibits other forms of union-security arrange- 
ments developed over many years by labor and management together 
in such cases as the maritime industry, the building trades and the 
printing trades. 

The Congress arbitrarily said, "We know better than unions what 
is good for employees." The result could have been predicted. Today 
several thousand employers and several million employees are oper- 
ating under bootleg agreements in flagrant violation of the statute. 

Point number two is the other side of point number one. If labor 
unions are to be accepted as the full representatives and guardians of 
employee interests in the collective-bargaining process, then labor 
unions must conform to standards of fair conduct and equal protection 
in the exercise of their stewardship. 

A few unions, my friends, made by law the exclusive representa- 
tives of certain groups of employees, abuse that trust by excluding from 
membership some who want to work, denying them a vote, denying 
their seniority rights because of the color of their skin or because of 
restrictive notions about employment security. That's not right. 

And, my friends, that's not democracy. Unions which are given 
powers by Government should be open to all on equal terms. I know 
it's the view and the practice of the vast majority of American unions 
and union members to reject any idea of second-class citizenship based 
on race or monopoly. 

And speaking of industrial democracy, let me say that you, too, 
have a responsibility to participate in the affairs of your unions. The 
union exists for your benefit. If there is anything wrong with it, if you 
don't approve of the officers, if you don't like the union's policies, if 
there are racketeers or Communists, then it's up to you and your fellow 
members to do something about it. You have your own democratic 
cleansing process. 

But you can't do it by sitting at home and complaining, any more 
than you can get better men in government by staying away from the 
polls. Those who really work at self-government, moreover, will find 
deep satisfaction, and so will you. 

Now number three of my suggestions is that a new Federal labor 
law must outlaw unfair bargaining practices by companies or unions. 

The Taft-Hartley Act, like the Wagner Act, prohibits certain types 
of unfair labor practices by employers, such as discriminating against 
union members or forming company unions. The Taft-Hartley Act 
added a list of union unfair practices. The unions have protested vigor- 
ously against this addition. 

Yet I think it is only common sense to acknowledge that we must 
forbid such practices as jurisdictional strikes and strikes or boycotts 
attempting to force an employer to deal with one union when another 
has been certified as the representative of his employees. 


It is equally clear, however, that the prohibitions in the Taft- 
Hartley Act are so broad and so jumbled as to outlaw proper, along 
with improper, conduct— even, on occasion, to require union members 
to act as strikebreakers. 

These provisions must be completely rewritten, with the intention, 
not of stripping unions of as much bargaining power as possible, but 
only to prohibit resort to those extremes which fair-minded judgment 
identifies as unreasonable. 

Point number four is rejection of the labor injunction. We agreed 
to this once. In 1932, Congress overwhelmingly passed the Norris-La 
Guardia Act to prohibit the labor injunction. The vote was 326 to 14 in 
the House and 75 to 5 in the Senate. 

Then, fifteen years later, in the Taft-Hartley Act, the labor injunc- 
tion—the process of haphazard prejudgment— was disembalmed. No 
showing of need was made for it, and that tyrannical power to have men 
and women ordered back to work in smothered silence has no place in 
today's labor law. 

My fifth, and the last point that I presume to make to you, is that 
new methods must be found for settling national emergency disputes. 

We are willing, as a nation, to put up with serious inconveniences 
when bargaining stalemates result in shutting down production. Col- 
lective bargaining is a form of free competition. And, in Justice Holmes' 
phrase, "free competition is worth more to society than it costs." 

We cannot, however, tolerate shutdowns which threaten our 
national safety, even that of the whole free world. The right to bargain 
collectively does not include a right to stop the national economy. 

The Taft-Hartley answer for this problem was the injunction. All 
that law boils down to is that in national emergency disputes employees 
shall be ordered to work for another eighty days on the employers' 

This remedy has been administered now nine times. Fairminded 
critics have concluded that in only two of these cases did it do the 
slightest good. In the others it either had no effect at all or actually 
delayed private settlement. 

I have no miracle-drug solution for this problem. I am clear, 
though, that where the Government must intervene in these private dis- 
putes, its purpose must be not just to stop the strike, but to see that the 
dispute gets settled. 

I am clear, too, that the new law must recognize that these emer- 
gency cases are always different. It's a proven mistake for Congress 
to prescribe in advance the same old patent medicine for all of 

What we need is a completely new law— one that will provide for 
investigation and reporting to the public on the issues involved, one 
that will provide for more effective mediation between the parties. Its 


purpose should be to keep these cases out of the White House, not to 
put them in. 

But the Congress should give the President a choice of procedures, 
not present him with no alternative when voluntary agreement proves 
impossible; seizure provisions geared to the circumstances; or arbitra- 
tion; or a detailed hearing and recommendation or settlement terms; or 
a return of the dispute to the parties. 

Such a law would leave the obligation to settle these disputes 
where it belongs— and that's with the parties. But it would not strait- 
jacket this settlement process. 

It would express the firm voice of a nation which demands a fair 
and a quick settlement, and offers constructive help toward a solution. 

Now these, my friends, are the outlines of a law consistent, it seems 
to me, with our democratic practices. They outline a minimum law, and 
a minimum law is what we need. And, I would hope, indeed I expect 
that in the larger area of common agreement that exists today the repre- 
sentatives of labor and of management, meeting in a spirit of give and 
take and of sincere search for industrial peace in the national interest, 
could agree on such a law. 

Finally, let none of us forget that labor problems are human prob- 
lems. The ultimate answers do not lie in the legislator's inkpot or in the 
lawyer's brief. 

The common denominator of all I have said today is confidence- 
confidence not in law or government, but in one another, in free men 
and free women; confidence in the private organizations they have set 
up, the private processes they have worked out to meet their common 
problems. For, if I can leave anything of certainty with you, it is that 
the greatest hope for industrial peace is not in laws, but in private 

It's hard to remember that here in Detroit fifteen years ago a 
mighty industry was paralyzed, and fighting in the streets between 
bitter men was an imminent possibility. Today the automobile com- 
panies and the workers have a five-year contract, giving the nation an 
assurance of labor peace infinitely firmer than any Congress could ever 

My friends, when we have come so far we know we can go farther. 

Labor Policy 

New York City 

September 22, 1952 

Mr. Green, officers, delegates to the convention, friends of the American 
Federation of Labor: 

I appreciate, Mr. Green, your very favorable introduction and your 
invitation to speak here today, and I might say that I hope that we all 
survive the sunstroke that seems to be threatening from the galleries. 

This convention has followed the American tradition of giving a 
hearing to both parties to an argument, and I am glad to take my turn. 

You have been transacting your business here for eight days. And 
I would think it was high time for a little humor. But I fear that there 
may be some people listening who don't like the light touch, although 
—well, for your benefit I say that they don't seem to mind the heavy 
touch as long as it is a Republican and not a Democrat. But, gentlemen, 
there is business before your house and I propose to get right to it, 
obeying, as far as I can, what seems to me to be coming to be known 
as the Republican law of gravity. 

Now, I have been told that I should try here today to make you roar 
with enthusiasm. Why, I would not do that even if I could. After all, you 
are the responsible leaders of organized labor, which, if it does not act 
responsibly, could do the nation and the working people infinite harm. 
And I, in turn, am a candidate for the most important individual re- 
sponsibility in the world. If I were more comforted by your cheers than 
your thoughts I would hardly merit the confidence of responsible men. 

So you will, I hope, understand that what little I have to say, or 
rather to add, to the many speeches you have dutifully listened to, is 
intended for your heads and not your hands. And, if I don't start any 
cheers, I hope at least that I shall not stop any minds. 

First I should like if I may to dispose of this matter of the Taft- 
Hartley law. 

The Democratic platform says that the Taft-Hartley Act is "inade- 
quate, unworkable and unfair," and should be replaced by a new law. 
I developed, on Labor Day, the five basic respects in which the present 
law seems to me defective and I outlined some five principles to guide 
the writing of a new one. 



How to get a new one? The method, whether by amendment of the 
existing law or replacement with a new one, has, frankly, seemed to me 
less important than the objective. But, because the required changes 
are major changes, because the present law is spiteful, and because it 
has become a symbol of dissension and bitterness, I urge, therefore, as I 
did on Labor Day, that the Taft-Hartley Act be repealed. 

The Republican platform commends the Taft-Hartley Act because 
among other things it guarantees to the working man, and I quote, "the 
right to quit his job at any time." 

To this deceit they add the insistence that the real issue here is 
whether the present law should be "amended" or "repealed." This is 
not the real issue. The real issue is what changes should be made in the 
law of the United States. But, if repeal were in itself the issue, I would 
remind Senator Taft that he himself has publicly recognized twenty- 
three mistakes in his favorite law, and it seems not unreasonable to 
recommend that a tire with twenty-three punctures and five blowouts 
—and I think it not unreasonable to suggest that such a tire needs junk- 
ing and not a recap job with— and especially a recap job with— reclaimed 
Republican rubber. 

Now there has been, too, the usual barrage of intemperate name- 
calling. Why is it that when political ammunition runs low, inevitably 
rusty artillery of abuse is always wheeled into action? To face the facts 
of labor relations is to be accused of "captivity," and of "turning left." 
Now these are words without roots, weeds which grow in darkness and 
wither in the sun. But the sun is sometimes slow to rise— especially cam- 
paigning. And I am reminded of the saying that a lie can travel all 
around the world while the truth is pulling on its boots. All of this stuff 
actually about right and left reminds me of the restriction of a church 
that was seeking a new minister. The deacon said in addressing the 
congregation: "We want someone who is not too radical and not too 
conservative. Not too far to the right and not too far to the left— just 
someone mediocre." 

Now the final Republican maneuvers were executed on this plat- 
form last Wednesday. I am grateful that it was the Republican, Senator 
Morse, who revealed so masterfully how all of those explosions we 
heard were only blank cartridges. 

It is proposed now apparently to change the Taft-Hartley Act in just 
two respects: by removing what the speaker called the union-busting 
clauses, and by making employers, like union leaders, swear that they 
are not Communists. The tinkling sound of these little words was unfor- 
tunately smothered in the thundering silence of what was left unsaid. 

And on only one point was there anything even approaching a 
joining of the issues. 

It was charged that I had "embraced," and I quote the words, "the 
principle of compulsion" by asking for the power as President to "com- 


pel" arbitration of disputes which threaten the national safety. Now, 
after that great reunion with Senator Taft on the love seat at Columbia 
University, I must say I respect the General's authority on the subject of 
embraces. But if he wrote what he said, he had not read what I said. 

My proposal was, and is, that if Congress sees fit to direct the 
President to intervene in a labor dispute it should give the President 
authority to try, among other things, to have that dispute referred to 
arbitration. I did not say that he should be given the power to "compel" 
arbitration. I recommended a flexibility of procedures, all built around 
the mediation process, to replace the present requirement that in all 
of these cases the collective-bargaining process be stopped— stopped 
dead— dead in its tracks, by a court order. 

Now what my distinguished opponent would do I cannot deter- 
mine. If that was his purpose, by the way, he succeeded. He says he is 
against compulsion. Yet he seems to support the present law, which 
compels men to work under court injunction for eighty days on terms 
they have rejected. I find it hard to see where there can be a greater 
compulsion than this. And if I read what he says as fairly as I can, I 
gather that in fact he recognizes this too and agrees with me, and with 
you, that the labor injunction is not a fair or effective dispute-settling 

He cites with approval the Norris-LaGuardia Act which was 
passed, so he said, under his party's administration in 1932. Now this 
will all seem a pretty broad claim to those who remember that the 
House of Representatives in the Seventy-second Congress was safely 
Democratic, and who can't see much resemblance between Republicans 
like George Norris and Fiorello LaGuardia, on the one hand, and Sena- 
tor Taft and Representative Hartley on the other. He didn't mention the 
fact that that Act virtually outlawed the labor injunction in the Federal 
courts or that it had been seriously cut down by the Taft-Hartley Act. I 
wonder if by any chance Senator Taft deleted such frankness from the 
General's text? 

But the General in his talk to you did recognize squarely that issu- 
ing injunctions, and I quote him, "will not settle the underlying funda- 
mental problems which cause a strike." That is one statement we can all 
agree with. The trouble is that the Taft-Hartley Act was written by 
those who don't recognize that squarely. 

But enough of the labor-relations law. There are other problems of 
equal concern to American labor. 

When many of you first came into this business, the only job of 
American labor— and it was a tough one— was to organize workers and 
to bargain with employers. This is still perhaps your main job. But you 
also have greatly expanded your interests and broadened your horizons. 

One of the most significant developments in our national life is that 
the American labor movement is today much more than an instrument 


of collective bargaining. It has become a vital agency of a working 

Your purposes extend to making America strong in a free and a 
peaceful world, and to seeking all the democratic goals to which the 
Government of this country is dedicated. 

I should like, therefore, to discuss with you how we can best make 
this relationship work— this partnership, if you please, between govern- 
ment and an independent organization like the American Federation of 
Labor, both devoted to the same ends. 

We recognize, to begin with, that in this partnership no partner 
can be allowed to dominate the other. Labor unions, like all private 
persons and organizations, must maintain an independence from gov- 
ernment. Government, including political parties, must be independent 
of any private bodies. 

As spokesman for the Democratic party, at least for the moment, I 
put this in plain language, not because you of the A. F. of L. misunder- 
stand, but because others try to misrepresent. I am glad that the Demo- 
cratic party and the American Federation of Labor have both been 
guided for a long time by the same stars— stars that have led us toward 
the realization of human hopes and desires. 

But our functions are different, and our responsibilities are differ- 
ent to different groups, even if these groups possibly overlap. The 
Democratic party is the party of all the people. Were it otherwise, it 
would be false to democracy itself. 

We seek then a pattern for full co-operation, but one which recog- 
nizes our mutual independence. 

And what are the specific things we can do in moving toward the 
human goals we hold in common? 

We can start, because the opportunity is so obvious, by making 
the Department of Labor a more effective service agency. To mention 
a few specific responsibilities here is to suggest many others : 

1. Given sufficient funds, the Bureau of Labor Statistics could, it 
seems to me, better perform its essential service as keeper of the people's 
budget, and serve a much broader function than it now can. And 

2. We should consider a labor counterpart of the Agricultural 
Extension Service to help train the men who make democracy work in 
the labor unions and around the bargaining tables. And 

3. The retraining of men who are replaced by machines and direct- 
ing them to new jobs, where now we simply pay them unemployment 
compensation, and could save both manpower and tax money. 

4. Again the National Labor Relations Board, operating outside 
the Labor Department but in this same field, must be staffed to process 
cases in half the time it now takes, for in this field particularly "justice 
delayed is justice denied." 

5. Then there is the problem of the migrant farm laborers. Over a 


million Americans who move north and south with the sun and the 
seasons, their lives often bleak cycles of exploitation and rejection, it 
certainly invites our compassionate attention. 

Strengthening the Labor Department is an old subject. Advocacy 
is always easier than action. But I lay what I hope is not immodest claim 
to at least a journeyman's qualifications. My apprenticeship was served 
in getting, and assisting to get, at least a partial labor program— over 
fifty bills— through a Republican Legislature in Illinois. 

It will also be an important development in democracy that men 
and women will come in ever-increasing numbers from your ranks to 
positions of key responsibility in government. 

What you have to offer, in all of our essential governmental pro- 
grams, has been perhaps best proven by the contribution that labor has 
already made on the international front. 

Your effective fight against communism goes clear back to the time 
it was called bolshevism. You have licked it in your own houses, and 
you have gone after the roots from which it grows. 

I join with my distinguished opponent in saluting you for these 
accomplishments. One wonders why his party forgot them when, in 
1947, they singled you out as peculiarly suspicious characters and 
required your taking a special oath of loyalty. I hope you don't misun- 
derstand me— I am neither courting nor embracing when I acknowledge 
and applaud the job you have done. Not only through the International 
Labor Organization, the Economic Co-operation Administration, the 
Department of State, but through your own offices— rejecting the Com- 
munist World Federation of Trade Unions; pressing the case in the 
United Nations against forced labor in the Soviet Union; supporting 
free trade unions in Europe and Asia and in South America; helping 
build up popular resistance wherever the spiked wall of Russia throws 
its shadow over free men and women. Where men's minds have been 
poisoned against democracy, many will learn that America is free, and 
they will only learn it as they hear it from you when you say that you 
are free. I say that to the workers of other nations "yours is today per- 
haps the clearest voice that America has." 

I am proud, as a Democrat, that a Democratic administration has 
recognized this and I hope that more and more union leaders will be 
called upon to serve their country abroad. I think we need diplomats 
who speak to people in the accents of the people. Ambassadors in over- 
alls can be the best salesmen of democracy. 

There are other tasks ahead, many of them here at home. President 
Truman listed the biggest among these jobs in his message to this con- 
vention, the priority jobs in making America still stronger and ever 
more healthy. 

How well we meet these problems together will depend upon, it 
seems to me, these three tilings: 


First, that we understand each other; and second, that we exercise 
our powers always with firm self-restraint; and third, that we hold fast 
to the conviction that only people are important. 

The understanding which flows between the party for which I 
speak and the enormous group you represent requires no detailing here. 
To remember the loneliness, the fear and the insecurity of men who 
once had to walk alone in huge factories, beside huge machines— to 
realize that labor unions have meant new dignity and pride to millions 
of our countrymen— human companionship on the job, and music in the 
home— to be able to see what larger pay checks mean, not to a man as an 
employee, but as a husband and as a father— to know these things is to 
understand what American labor means. 

Franklin Roosevelt knew these things. Harry Truman knows these 
things. But they are the imponderable human elements that some 
among us, unhappily, have never understood. 

Now— as to the exercise of our powers. 

The Democratic party has been entrusted for twenty years with 
the awesome responsibility of leadership in governing the United 
States. During these years, the labor unions have become strong and 
vigorous. American labor, too, has enormous power today and enormous 
responsibilities. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. It is rather 
cause for very real humility. It is the whole history of mankind that 
power lacking the inner strength of self-restraint will be eventually cast 

It is the history of the Republican party that it supported, and was 
supported by, those interests which believed that freedom meant the 
right to exercise economic power without restraint. And the party was 
cast down. 

It has been the basic belief of the Democratic party that only 
human freedoms are basic and that economic power must be exercised 
so as not to curtail them. We hold, too, that the power of government 
must be restricted to the point that government stands never as master 
and always as a servant. 

It is no less essential to the future of democracy that America, that 
American labor, walk wisely with its power. Your awareness of this has 
been shown in many practical ways. There is, most recently perhaps, 
the forthright and heartening manner in which you have attacked the 
problem of jurisdictional strikes. Your joint-board procedure in the 
building trades and your prohibitions upon picketing in support of 
jurisdictional claims are examples of sound self -regulation directed 
against the abuse, and, therefore, the corruption of power. 

You have expressed your willingness to accept procedures which 
recognize the priority of the public interest in national emergency 
disputes. You today accept the fact that, in the private free-enterprise 
system which we all recognize as basic to our liberty and our pros- 


perity, employees can prosper only as their employers do, and that ir- 
responsible demands are only self-defeating. 

Yet American labor, like the Democratic party, faces new and 
uncharted tomorrows. You, as we, will be challenged anew to measure 
up to the demands of both freedom and power. The future of democ- 
racy, perhaps the future of our world, depends upon the exercise of 
power by America's private and public bodies alike with that self-re- 
straint which separates power from tyranny and order from chaos. 

The fullest guarantee against irresponsibility lies in the constant 
reminder that people, and only people, are important. 

American labor's role, its whole purpose has been to restore to 
people the status and dignity they lost when the sprawling factories 
reached out to engulf them. Hence, for example, your insistence that 
there be a community law of job rights— seniority rules— to stand be- 
side the law of property rights. 

Equally has the Democratic party drawn its strength, I think, 
from the people. We have built our program on their hopes, stood by 
them in adversity and found the measure of our accomplishment in 
their welfare. We have written the laws of twenty years from pictures 
in our minds of men and women who, tired after a day's full work, 
who are defeated if a week's wages don't buy a week's food, who are 
out of a job, or who are sick or have finished a life's work. We believe 
in a government with a heart. 

Yet we are told that we have gone too far. 

What do they mean? Are they saying that our people are too 
well fed, too well clothed, too well housed? Do they say that our chil- 
dren are getting more and better schooling than they should? Have we 
gone too fast in our efforts to provide equal opportunities to working 
men and women of all races and colors? Are the 62 million workers of 
America too healthy, too happy? Should fewer of them be working? 

The Republicans say they want a change. Well let them, then, 
speak out: Which of these things do they want changed? 

With mutual understanding, with a humbling sense of our power, 
with belief in our masters, the people, we shall see to it, my friends, 
that these things are not changed. 

I want, if I may, in closing, to salute a tradition of leadership 
which embodies all I have been trying to say here today. The founda- 
tions of that tradition were laid by Samuel Gompers, and they have 
been built upon by William Green. You have held, sir, if I may say so, 
to the ideal of democratic leadership— the leadership which seeks the 
good of all, the leadership of him who wants only to serve. 

I am deeply grateful, Mr. Green, to you for your introduction. I 
am grateful to all of you for the cordiality of your reception here to- 
day. And now, if you will excuse me, I'll continue to do the Lord's 
work in my way. 

Farm Policy 

At the National Plowing Contest 

September 6, 1952 

I am grateful for the opportunity to talk with you about national farm 
policies. I won't waste your time this afternoon in telling you, in the 
political tradition, all about how I am myself a farmer. 

I own farm land in Illinois, and I come from a family that has lived 
in the heart of the farm belt for over a hundred years. But I am here 
today as a candidate for public office— not masquerading as a dirt farmer, 
but as a politician. 

My first venture into public service was in Washington in the old 
triple-A [Agricultural Adjustment Administration]. This was in the 
desolate days of 1933, when the American farmer, like everybody else, 
was flat on his back. I do not want to suggest to anyone that we Demo- 
crats are still running against Herbert Hoover! 

But I am thankful for my A.A.A. experience, because it showed me 
in a way I will never forget how bad conditions can get on our farms. 
I left A.A.A. with the resolve that we as a people must never permit our 
farmers to undergo such want and privation again. 

In this spirit, Democratic administrations have developed the farm 
policies of the last twenty years. As a result, we of this generation, who 
saw farm conditions at their worst in 1932, have had the happy privilege 
of seeing them over the last decade at their best. I am proud of the work 
my party has done in these twenty years to restore the American farmer 
to a position of equality and dignity in our national life. 

For the last three and a half years I have been Governor of a great 
agricultural state. In this capacity I have worked closely with farmers 
and farm organizations. With their help and co-operation, we have re- 
organized our State Department of Agriculture; and, if you will permit 
me a commercial here at Kasson for a rival show, we have improved our 
great state fair and cut the cost to the taxpayer by two-thirds. 

I have relied on their advice in other fields, too— notably school and 
highway legislation. We now have under way in Illinois the largest high- 
way program since the advent of the hard road. For the first time, a share 
of our gasoline tax is going to the townships for the rural roads. 



I come to you today as the Democratic candidate for the greatest 
responsibility on earth— the Presidency of the United States. I am run- 
ning on the Democratic platform. I believe it is a good platform. I be- 
lieve its agricultural plank is clear, definite, and sound. I can stand on it 
without squirming. I feel no need to modify this provision or that, to 
explain or to reinterpret, to dodge or to hedge. 

And I am for this platform, above all, because I believe that its 
pledges are not just in the interest of the fanner— they are in the public 
interest. I know that the American farmers do not want, nor will they 
get through any effort of mine, anything more than what is justified by 
the larger good of the commonwealth. 

We can all stand on the words of the first philosopher of American 
agriculture, Thomas Jefferson: "Equal rights for all; special privileges 
for none." 

A society can be no better than the men and women who compose 
it. The heart of any farm policy must therefore be the life of those who 
work the farms. Our objective is to make that life full and satisfying. 

We believe, as Democrats have always believed, that our society 
rests on an agricultural base. It is our determination to keep that base 
solid and healthy. Our farms must grow more than crops and livestock. 
They must grow what Walt Whitman described as the best bar against 
tyranny— "a large resolute breed of men." 

This means that farm policy must focus first on the question of farm 
income. This is not because farmers are more concerned with money 
than any other group in society. It is because farmers, like all other citi- 
zens, are entitled to a fair return for their labor and a fair chance in the 
world for their children. 

In the past, the labor of the farmer has remained the same; but his 
income has risen or sunk according to the unpredictable fluctuations of 
the market. It has been a constant objective of our Democratic farm 
programs to maintain farm income— and thereby to assure the farmer 
that he can provide food, medical care and education for his family. 

The way we have chosen to maintain farm income is to support farm 
prices. Our platform lays this out in clear language. Here is what it says: 
"We will continue to protect the producers of basic agricultural com- 
modities under the terms of a mandatory price-support program at not 
less than 90 per cent of parity." 

There are no if s, buts or maybes about this. And I think it is a policy 
that most farmers today understand and believe in. I only wish that 
everybody understood it so well. 

One place it was clearly not understood was at the great fracas in 
the Chicago stockyards, two months ago, where one of the casualties 
was the farm plank in the Republican platform. There are, of course, 
two Republican parties for agriculture as well as two Republican parties 
for foreign policy and almost everything else. 


As you all know, the Chicago slaughter finally ended in a cease-fire 
agreement. According to that agreement— better known as the Repub- 
lican platform— Republican policy is "aimed"— that is their word— is 
"aimed" at parity levels. 

That phrase may have looked good in a smoke-filled room in Chi- 
cago. It isn't very clear here in the daylight in Minnesota. There is, and 
no one should know it better than my distinguished opponent, a vast 
difference between aiming at a target and hitting it. 

How good is their aim, anyway? Their sights were a mile off in June 
of this year when more than half the Republican members of the House 
of Representatives voted against the law that extended price support at 
90 per cent of parity through 1954. 

If the Republican candidate says one thing, and the Republican 
platform says something else, and the Republican members of Congress 
say still others— how can anyone tell what a Republican administration 
would actually do in Washington? 

There should be no mystery about price supports. What our pro- 
gram does is to place a floor under our agricultural economy in order 
to protect the farmer against sudden and violent price drops. 

What it does is to maintain farm income— and the farmer's purchas- 
ing power— in those uneasy moments when there is a temporary glut in 
the market, or when real depression threatens. By stabilizing farm in- 
come, our program maintains markets for the business man and the 

The total effect, obviously, is to help stabilize the whole national 
economy at a high level of production and employment. 

I know that opponents of the program claim that price supports 
raise food prices for housewives. Let us examine this charge a moment. 
Food prices are high enough today, Heaven knows. But supports are not 
the reason. High employment and strong purchasing power— in short, 
prosperity— are keeping most farm prices above support levels. 

What the support program does do is to encourage farmers to grow 
more food. You can now plant crops, fairly secure in the knowledge that 
prices will still be good at market time. That is one reason why farm 
production has increased almost 50 per cent in the last twenty years. 
The support program thus helps to keep supply up with demand— and 
that is the way to keep prices from going up. 

The price-support program thus does more than assure a decent 
life and a fair opportunity for most of our farm families. It also improves 
the life of the boys and girls in our cities. 

From your farms today food pours in a steady stream to every corner 
of the country. Think what this means in the terms of human lives! We 
are feeding 30 million more people than there were in our land in 1932; 
and we are giving the average American a far better diet. 

More than that, this better diet costs the average person no greater 


share of his income after taxes than it did in 1932— if he was lucky enough 
to have any income, after or before taxes, in that gloomy year. 

I am not presuming for a moment to say that support at 90 per cent 
of parity is necessarily the permanent or only answer. Economic condi- 
tions are constantly changing and I think this program, like all our eco- 
nomic policies, should be constantly reappraised to determine if it is 
fair to the taxpayer and responsive to our needs. We are all interdepend- 
ent and the only certainty of a stable, prosperous agriculture is a stable, 
prosperous nation. 

The price-support program is doing a good job for the basic crops- 
corn, cotton, wheat, rice and the others— for which loan and storage 
operations are now in effect. The same protection could be accorded to 
other storable commodities. 

For perishable products, however, such as hogs, dairy products, 
fruits and vegetables, these loan and storage operations do not work 
well. Yet these products provide about three-fourths of all the income 
received by farmers. 

Our first line of defense for the producers of perishables is, of course, 
a strong economic policy that will insure, so far as it is humanly possible 
to do so, high employment and purchasing power. 

But behind this there should be protection against unreasonably 
low prices for those producers of perishables who need it. They should 
know they can expand production and that the public that benefits will 
bear part. 

I do not underestimate the difficulty of finding a satisfactory 
method of doing this. And I can only hope that with continued careful 
study and close consultation with farmers and their leaders ways will 
be found to do something both practical and effective. 

The farm problem has changed much since the Thirties. Once abun- 
dance created surpluses because people could not buy what the farmer 
could produce. Today we seek even greater abundance as we look ahead 
to a 30 or 40 million increase in our population in the next twenty-five 

Nevertheless, there is the constant necessity to adjust output to 
need in the short run. We have worked out excellent voluntary meth- 
ods for doing this. 

The Republican leadership would now dispense entirely with pro- 
duction controls. "We do not believe in restrictions on the American 
farmer's ability to produce," their platform states in one of its rare bursts 
of clarity. 

I do not like acreage allotments and marketing quotas myself. I 
hope— we all have good reason to hope— that a growing population and 
expanding markets will keep us from again needing controls for staple 

But farmers have learned from bitter experience that we need these 


controls in reserve. I learned how useful they could be in the hard school 
of the Triple-A. Incidentally, there could be no tobacco program at all 
right now without marketing quotas— as every tobacco farmer knows. 
I would never favor controls for the sake of control. But I think we have 
to face a practical problem when we see one. 

Price policy is the heart of the farm program but it is not the whole 
of it. Fanning is a way of using our great inheritance of water and land; 
and it is a way of life. Our effort must be to improve the fertility and 
productivity of our farms, and to improve the quality and content of life 
for our farm families. 

I hope to have a personal part in the continuation and extension of 
the policies which in the last twenty years have given farm life new 
strength and new dignity— and so restored it to its old place of honor 
in the republic. 

We of this generation are the trustees of soil and water resources 
for our children and their children. We have an elaborate soil-conserva- 
tion program. It too should have constant scrutiny to determine if we 
are getting the maximum value in land improvement out of our conser- 
vation tax dollar. 

We still have far to go in upstream flood prevention and water and 
forest conservation. And I wish I could say that every farmer was using 
the best conservation methods to protect his farm— methods such as 
those demonstrated here at Kasson yesterday and today at this magnifi- 
cent and celebrated exhibition. With the kind of local leadership we see 
here today, we will get the job done everywhere in time, and I would 
say very soon in Minnesota. 

You may have heard that, where administration is concerned, I am 
no admirer of mere size. Let us strive for big men, not big government. 
We must continue to decentralize the management of our agricultural 
and conservation programs and, if anything, increase farmer participa- 
tion. I think we can go further toward making local administration 
compact and efficient, and getting dollar-for-dollar value for the money 
we spend. 

Rural electrification is one of our finest national achievements in 
this generation. It is more than a Government program. It is a 

It means electric lights for farm families who have had to live by 
coal-oil lamps. It means electric power for the farm wife in place of the 
back-breaking labor of the old-fashioned washtub and the hand pump. 
It means electric power to grind the farmer's feed, heat his brooder 
house, and help him with a hundred other chores. You know about this 
in Minnesota, where the number of electrified farms has risen from 7 per 
cent in 1935 to 90 per cent today. 

The great task of bringing electricity to the farm is now far along 
to completion. It must be finished, and generation and transmission 


facilities must be adequate to meet the constantly growing demand for 
power on the farm, at prices the farmer can afford to pay. 

We must also look toward the time when every farm home may be 
in touch with its neighbors, the doctor, and the world through rural 
telephone service. 

The chief agency in this miraculous transformation in country liv- 
ing has been the farmer-owned co-operative. It is a wonderful example 
of people solving their own local problems in their own way, and its 
effectiveness must not be crippled by hostile legislation. 

There is one final part of our farm program which especially con- 
cerns me. 

Farm ownership and the family farm are the foundation on which 
our whole agricultural system is built. From 1880 to 1932 we lost ground 
on farm ownership. 

In these years— years, incidentally, when Republicans were mostly 
in power and hadn't yet invented that slogan "It's time for a change"— 
the proportion of farm owners declined, until by 1932, 43 per cent of all 
farmers— two out of every five— were either tenants or sharecroppers. 

That trend has now been reversed; three-fourths of our farmers now 
own their farms. We have recovered, in twenty years, the ground lost in 
the previous fifty. 

Things are not yet as they should be. Many young, vigorous and 
ambitious men would like to become owners of farms. What is more 
serious, many farmers cannot, with their existing land and equipment, 
make a decent living from the soil. 

There is a notion abroad that all farmers are now prosperous. In 
1950, more than 1,000,000 farmers had net incomes from all sources, 
including outside employment, of less than $1,000. 

How can a farmer rear, clothe, and educate a family on that? Who 
can say that such a family shares in the American abundance? We can 
take pride in our remarkable progress, but we cannot be complacent. 

Research, housing and credit programs particularly must be focused 
on this problem of rural poverty. No one should promise miracles here; 
but there must be ways to help the industrious small farmer who wants 
to help himself. 

That kind of American is a good risk. And no one knows it better 
than my running mate, Senator John Sparkman, who has led the battle 
for them, and who was himself one of eleven children of an impoverished 
tenant farmer. 

This nation faces a stern present and a challenging future. The 
American farmer has a great role to play in these next critical years of 
precarious balance in the world. Our national commitment to an expand- 
ing economy rests upon the continued growth of our agriculture. 

Our struggle to strengthen the free world against communism de- 
mands the continued and growing productivity of the American farm. 


A hungry man is not a free man. In the long run, peace will be won in 
the turnrows, not on the battlefields. 

The last twenty years have established a framework of justice and 
equity within which the farmer can do his indispensable part for the 
greater strength and safety of our nation. Only in an atmosphere of 
growth and confidence can the farmer make his necessary contribution 
to our nation, and our nation its necessary contribution to the world-wide 
fight for freedom. 

If I didn't feel that the party which saw our needs and charted our 
course in the past is the best custodian of our future I would not be 
the Democratic candidate for President or here at this great day in 
Kasson asking not for your thanks, but for your confidence. 

Social Security 

September 1, 1952 

I appreciate your invitation to join you for a few minutes this Labor 
Day afternoon. I'm getting a new slant on what Labor Day means. I 
have never worked so hard on Labor Day before. It seems to me I 
have seen and talked to half the people of Michigan today. It would 
probably have been better for me if I hadn't, but I've enjoyed every 
minute of it, every word and every handshake. But no baby kisses 
yet. When do they start? I would hate to think that all the babies in 
Michigan are Republicans. 

When I was a boy I never had much sympathy for a holiday 
speaker. He was just a kind of interruption between the hot dogs, a 
fly in the lemonade. But here I am, on the other end of the oratory. I 
can't say I like it and I doubt if you do either. But we have some 
mighty important things to talk about. 

We have an election coming up this fall and elections are always 
important in a democracy— and I mean to the people as well as the 
candidates! Because of the troubles that beset us all over the world 
and here at home, this may prove one of our most important elections. 

This is Labor Day, and I suppose you want to hear my views on 
labor. But so many people have already heard them that I'm tired of 
talking about that subject. And I want to add only this thought that I 
did not mention in Detroit. 

Labor problems carry a high voltage these days. People make 
up their minds about who's right or wrong and what's right or wrong 
with little or no knowledge of the facts. Most of them react like the 
tired mother when she hears late-afternoon bickering in the back 
yard: "Go see what Willie's doing and tell him not to." 

There are three parties to labor disputes— the workmen, the com- 
pany, and the public. And speaking for the public, I say that one of 
the biggest needs in the labor field today is the development of an 
informed and fair-minded public attitude toward labor problems. 

We must stop treating labor and management like fighting cocks, 
taking sides and egging them on. This kind of fomented disagreement 
isn't good. It is magnifying honest differences of opinion into artificial 



barriers between large groups of people. We are talking ourselves in- 
to a kind of class hatred. And there can't be class hatreds or group 
antagonisms in a healthy democracy. 

But I don't want to talk about that here in Flint. I want to talk 
about our Republican friends who seem to be trying, by various 
sleight-of-hand tricks, to divert people's attention from the issues. 
The only thing that matters, they say, is to get a change. Don't pay 
any attention to what kind of change you'll get— just vote for us, we'll 
change things, all right. 

Now as far as the Republican leaders are concerned, this desire 
for change is understandable. I suppose if I had been sewn up in the 
same underwear for twenty years I'd want a change too. But as far as 
the rest of us are concerned, I suggest we consider very carefully be- 
fore we accept a check written out "change "—and signed by a party 
that hasn't supported any change in twenty years— except the Taft- 
Hartley Act. 

But I don't think the American people are going to be misled. It 
takes more than a new paint job to hide Model-T ideas. Take, for ex- 
ample, the issue of social security. (And I have talked about almost 
everything else today!) The Republican candidate this year says he's 
for expanding social-security benefits and giving them to more peo- 
ple. Well, I was glad to hear that, though it sounds a little odd in 
view of some other things he has said in the past. He now says he 
thinks things like social security should be above politics. 

Well, I agree with him. They should. But apparently my es- 
teemed opponent doesn't realize that the reason social security is a 
political issue is because his adopted party hasn't been conspicuously 
enthusiastic about it all these years, to say the least! And don't look 
now, General, but I suspect they aren't yet. The Democrats would 
have been glad to place social security above politics any time in the 
last twenty years. But the Republicans wouldn't let us. 

The Social Security Act was passed in 1935 by the Democrats, 
with the Republicans voting no. It has been expanded twice already, 
over Republican objections. Why, the only time the Republicans have 
had control of the Congress in twenty years, that famous 80th Con- 
gress, the Republicans not only did not give social-security protection 
to more people— they actually took social security away from people 
who already had it! 

The record is hardly convincing proof that the Republican party 
either considers that social security is above politics, or is a reliable 
sponsor for the growing social-security program which the General 
says he favors. 

But when I talk here, for the Democratic party— and I mean all 
of the Democratic party— about expanding the social-security pro- 
gram I'm not just talking about bringing more people under social 


security, and raising the retirement payments to a more reasonable 
level. There is far more in our concept of social security. There is the 
Federal-State-local health program— the program which brought Flint 
the new McLaren General Hospital, and which has built many hos- 
pitals where they were desperately needed in my State of Illinois and 
all across the country. And that need for hospital and clinical facili- 
ties is by no means satisfied, as every doctor will agree. 

I am talking, too, about a sound program which I hope we can 
develop to reduce the financial hazards of serious illness and remove 
the fear of husbands and fathers that a sudden accident or sickness 
will force his family onto public charity. And I don't mean what has 
been called "socialized medicine," either. 

I am talking, too, of the kind of program which will go beyond 
unemployment insurance and will tackle the problem of unemploy- 
ment itself. You know, here in Flint, from your own experience, how 
unemployment can strike suddenly and unexpectedly. And you know 
also how intelligent, imaginative work— such as Governor Williams 
and Senator Moody have done recently— can improve an unemploy- 
ment situation. The spectre of unemployment and depression haunts 
everyone who has to work for a living, and that's most of us these 
days. The Democratic party is proud of the steps it has proposed and 
the country has taken these past twenty years to conquer this recur- 
rent misfortune. But, like peace on earth, the goal has not been won. 
And, like the quest for peace, we must keep everlastingly at the cause 
and cure of economic disaster. There is work in this country for every 
one of us. That must always be. And when we talk of social security 
we talk of keeping the core of social security strong— not just of in- 
surance against insecurity but of eliminating the causes of insecurity. 

There are a lot of other issues in this campaign too. I wish there 
were time to talk about them today. There isn't. I have only tried to 
suggest to you, by one example, how real these issues are. 

A democracy is a live society— and growth is the essence of life. 
We are by no means satisfied— nor will we ever be. There is tomorrow 
to conquer— and to improve. That you, the citizens of Genesee Coun- 
ty, are aware of these issues is reflected in the fact that 79 per cent of 
you who are eligible voters are already registered. I hope all the rest 
of the eligibles register too, and that in November you do your duty 
as citizens of this great Republic which carries the hopes and fears of 
all the world. 

You will hear a lot about the need for a change. You will hear 
the Republicans say that the Democrats have been in too long. Re- 
member what my friend Congressman Bill Dawson says: "How long 
is too long, if it's good?" 

The People's 
Natural Resources 


September 8, 1952 

I am told that when Paul Bunyan reached the Northwest, he retired. 
The reason is obvious: Paul could not stand the competition. Every- 
thing in the Northwest is built bigger, or grows faster, or produces 
more kilowatts than anything anywhere else. At least so I have been 
confidentially informed by everyone I've met in Wyoming, Montana, 
Idaho, Oregon and Washington in the last three days. 

And, you know, after flying over and driving across and looking 
at much of the Northwest on several trips out here, I'm willing to ac- 
cept the statistics. I hope you will give the same treatment you've given 
me to some of the Republican orators who are glooming about these 
days, saying that the country is coming apart at the seams. 

The rapid growth of the Northwest is very significant for the fu- 
ture of the United States. It means that what used to be essentially a 
colonial domain, run by absentee industries, is now coming of age and 
playing its full part in the progress of our nation. 

And there is something very interesting about this growth. A great 
part of it has been due to what my opponents are fond of calling a 
centralized, despotic bureaucracy, the Federal Government. Year after 
year we have been told how this ogre has been wasting the taxpayers' 
money in the Northwest on a series of fantastic projects. 

This process of bankrupting the United States by wasting money 
on the Northwest has had a long history. I can trace it at least as far 
back as 1867 and a certain Secretary of State who was denounced for 
being soft toward Russia. At this moment we can hear— or could if an 
unaccustomed mood of silence should come upon me— the whistles of 
steamers bound north for Seward's Folly. The development of Alaska 
has meant traffic, commerce, profits, population for the Northwest. 
Now, if you and I have our way, Alaska will soon be a state. 

Think of what Alaska has already meant, think of what the con- 
tinued development of its natural resources will mean, to the Northwest 



and to the United States at large. Think of the watchtower and fortress 
it is against the Communist threat, and how close to the heart of our 
economy that threat would be if it had remained in Russian hands. 
The profligate waste of the taxpayers' money by a spendthrift bureauc- 
racy has paid off. Seward's Folly has become our wealth and our se- 

Now I draw a moral from this story. The moral is that the people 
who conduct the nation's business frequently know what they are do- 
ing—partisan assertions to the contrary notwithstanding— and that an 
investment made on behalf of the public is not necessarily money 
poured down a rathole— or out here I should say money over the dam. 

Not far to the east of us tonight is that notorious white elephant, 
Grand Coulee Dam. Our atomic weapons would not have been de- 
veloped without the power generated by Grand Coulee and Bonneville 
on the Columbia and by those other white elephants in the Tennessee 
Valley. The water stored by Grand Coulee is beginning to make fields 
and orchards of the barren land in the Columbia Basin. 

In some people's view, you will remember, Grand Coulee and 
Bonneville were not only a waste of the taxpayers' money, they were— 
and this was a worse crime— they were an interference with the sacred 
right of private monopoly to leave a region undeveloped. They were 
Homer Bone's folly, Charley McNary's folly, Franklin Roosevelt's folly. 

Thanks to the faith of men who could see future cities instead of 
present sagebrush, thanks, if I may state the blunt fact, to the courage 
of Democratic politicians, supported by the minority of progressive 
Republicans who in twelve years of Republican rule after 1920 had 
broken their hearts in fighting their own party's lethargic and hostile 
attitude toward Western development, these dams were built and 
others are a-building. 

One of them commemorates Senator McNary who, like a certain 
present Senator from the same state, never let his Republicanism stop 
him from voting for Democratic policies. Water for irrigating crops, 
power for homes and farms and industries— these are the results of 
public investment and they are the lifeblood of the Northwest. 

Now I observe that far from diminishing, stifling or crippling 
private enterprise, these activities of the Federal Goverment have mul- 
tiplied, stimulated and strengthened private enterprise in the North- 
west—and in the rest of the country too, for you cannot enrich one 
section without enriching all the others. 

So I draw another moral. Works like Grand Coulee and Bonneville 
were beyond the capacity of private enterprise to undertake. 

If the Government had not built them they would not have been 
built at all. Hard American common sense concludes that where private 
enterprise is unable or unwilling to develop our resources, the Govern- 
ment should. 

76 the people's natural resources 

That is what we have been doing, usually against the opposition 
of the Republican leadership. And that is what we must keep on doing. 

The battles in this field are by no means over. The Government is 
contemplating additional developments that will add more badly 
needed kilowatts to the power supply of the Northwest, more water 
for the lands that stand ready to produce, more transportation to get 
the product cheaply to market. 

There will be opposition in the f uture as there has been opposition 
in the past. But the resource development of the West will go on be- 
cause the people— not just of the West but of the whole country— want 
it to go on. 

The extra power that would, for example, open up a now-unused 
natural resource, the great phosphate-rock beds in Idaho, and make 
possible a large production of fertilizer, has a meaning for the prairies 
of the Middle West, for the South, for every farmer throughout the 
country who wants to get the best out of his land. 

When we invest in projects that more than pay for themselves, we 
act as prudent trustees of the public wealth and our heirs will profit 
from our wisdom. But it is public funds we invest. The return of the 
investment must be real, not hypothetical, and the gains must be na- 
tional, not merely local. 

We must be eagle-eyed and tight-fisted about these expenditures. 
The magic phrase "engineering feasibility" and the blessing of the local 
interests are not enough to justify a public project. 

It must pass the harder tests of the comparison— would this money 
be better spent on rehabilitating eroded farm land in the South or ex- 
hausted range land in the West, rather than on reclaiming a desert? 
And it must pass another, more immediate test— is the coming fiscal 
year the one in which to start this investment of public funds at all? 

These are hard, practical questions that must be faced. I have 
faced them in my own state. I know how complicated they are on a 
nation-wide scale. Projects and proposals from all parts of the country 
compete for public investment. 

I am not sure that the office of Presidency is well enough 
equipped, as things now stand, to appraise them with detachment and 
with critical authority. The Hoover Commission has made suggestions 
for increasing the effectiveness of executive review; it may be that 
even better means can be devised. I intend to find out. 

Building a public project, however, is only half the story. Bitter 
battles have been fought— and many of them are still unsettled— over 
who gets the good from public investment. There are always plenty of 
private interests that want to appropriate the benefits for themselves. 

I give you two illustrations. 

The first is power. In an unbroken line from the turn of the cen- 
tury the policy of Congress has been that the benefits of power pro- 


duced from public funds shall be spread widely, especially among 
domestic and rural consumers, and shall be sold at the lowest possible 
rates that will repay the investment with interest. To accomplish this, 
the laws provide that preference in the sale of public power shall be 
given to co-operatives and public bodies, and that public transmission 
lines may be built where necessary to reach them. 

Here in the Northwest you have seen these policies work— and 
work well. Your R. E. A. [Rural Electrification Administration] co- 
operatives, your public-utility districts and your municipal systems, as 
well as private utility companies, are tied in with the power-producing 
dams by the Government's backbone transmission system. 

Your power rates are low; your homes and farms use two or three 
times as much power as the average for the nation. Yet these Federal 
power policies are being fought right now as hard as they were ever 
fought in the past. 

No two regions are the same and the particular adjustment of 
private and public generation, transmission and distribution systems 
that the Northwest worked out cannot be exactly followed everywhere. 
But the principles are the same everywhere; and the benefits of public 
investment must accrue to the general public. 

My second illustration is the national forests— whose protection 
and development by the Federal Government was once fought bitterly 
as interference with the rights of private enterprise and a waste of 
public funds. 

Today, the national forests are a vast resource of virgin timber and 
reforested areas. They are increasingly valuable to private timber oper- 
ators, as the last available replacement for logged-out areas, and to all 
the industries that depend on a supply of forest products. 

They are of increasing value, too, for recreation, as the population 
of the Northwest increases, and as the inhabitants of regions less 
bountifully endowed with natural beauty come here in increasing 

Many forest problems remain to be solved— access roads for log- 
ging operations, fire-protection roads, trails and access roads for vaca- 
tionists, loopholes in the mining laws that permit people who do no 
mining to cash in on timber or recreation. These must be solved but 
there is a much bigger problem. 

The greatest importance of the national forests is the protection 
of watersheds. In many parts of the West, protection of the forests and 
grasslands means the difference between healthy streams and destruc- 
tive loss of the water— dependable water supplies as against floods, 
silted-up irrigation systems and dams filling with sediment. 

That is why we must resist efforts to take away from the public 
the control of the forest ranges. I do not share my opponent's scorn 
for what he calls an absentee landlord. These ranges should be used, 

78 the people's natural resources 

used well and widely, for grazing purposes. But they are public prop- 
erty and they must be managed for the public interest. 

These battles for the public interest in our forests, and rivers, and 
other natural resources must go on, and they must be won. They must 
be won here on the spot and they must be won in the Congress. 

That is why we need in Congress vigorous, progressive Represen- 
tatives and Senators— men like Henry Jackson, here in Washington, 
Mike Mansfield in Montana and Joe O'Mahoney in Wyoming, to carry 
on their teamwork in the public interest with Warren Magnuson, Jim 
Murray and Lester Hunt. They are all tough fighters, proven by public 
service. The Congress and the nation need all of them. 

We are only at the beginning of a long-term effort to make our 
resources match our needs. Just recently President Truman's Materials 
Policy Commission made some careful estimates about how much 
power, fuel and raw materials of all sorts the nation will need twenty- 
five years from now, when its population is likely to be 30 or 40 million 

Their figures are startling. They estimate, for instance, that we 
may need four times as much aluminum as we are producing today 
and three times as much electric power. 

To meet such demands will require our best efforts. We shall have 
to import from abroad large additional amounts of many materials. 
That, incidentally, will have the helpful effect of gradually building a 
firmer basis for workable economic relationships among nations. 

But we will have to do far better than we have been doing with 
the resources within our own borders. Soil and water, fish and wild- 
life, forests and grasslands, minerals and water power— they are all re- 
lated to one another in nature's order and we cannot separate the 
problems of one from those of all the others. 

Our approach must be unified, on a wide front, by integrated 
plans, by co-operative effort. This means better administrative ar- 
rangements within the Federal Government and intelligent and 
better co-ordinated action by states, by localities, and by private 

Most of all, it means better co-operation among all the agencies, 
public or private, that deal with natural resources. 

I have emphasized public policies tonight because I am a candi- 
date for office and want to make clear where I stand on the problems 
a President must deal with. But I believe with all my heart that the 
job of widely using the resources with which nature endowed the 
United States is very largely a job for private action. 

It requires every private landowner, every mine and timber oper- 
ator, every man in private enterprise, to act with an eye for the public 
good as well as private gain. Because unto us much has been given, of 
us much will be required. And I thoroughly believe that the generality 


of Americans are men of goodwill, who put the public good before 
their own gain. 

There will always be selfish people, there will always be groups 
who try to turn our common inheritance to their private profit, and it 
will always be the job of government to restrain them. But there is too 
much talk of conflicting interests. 

The natural wealth of the United States is our common trust. We 
must husband and increase it for the future, and our emphasis must 
be not on rivalry or conflict but on co-operation. 

In the United States we have always made our bet on tomorrow. 
We have always believed that the developing economy would make 
America steadily wiser and more powerful, and would spread the 
benefits of a rising standard of living more widely among our citizens. 
Generation by generation we have won that bet. 

Now in our time we confidently believe that there will be no halt 
in the process that has made us the richest and the most powerful 
nation in the world. 

We must be faithful and wise stewards of the riches we have in- 
herited. We must imagine greatly, dare greatly, and act greatly. For 
on what we do now the future will depend— the future not only of our 
people but of the world. 

The Veteran 



Madison Square Garden 

August 27, 1952 

I have attended altogether too many conventions not to know how 
you are all beginning to feel here on the afternoon of your third day. 
You work hard at Legion business most of the day, and then devote 
the balance of your time to the museums, art galleries, concerts and 
other cultural monuments of New York. And, of course, you have to 
listen to speeches too. I console myself with the thought that this 
punishment, while cruel, is not unusual. 

I have no claim, as many of you do, to the honored title of old 
soldier. Nor have I risen to high rank in the armed services. 

My own military career was brief. It was also lowly. An appren- 
tice seaman in a naval training unit was not, as some of you may 
also recall, a powerful command position in World War I. My ex- 
perience thus provided me with a very special view— what could be 
called a worm's eye view— of the service. In 1918 I doubt if there was 
anything more wormlike than an apprentice seaman. I must add, 
though, that from a very topside job in the Navy Department during 
the frenzy of the last war I sometimes had nostalgic recollections of 
apprentice seamanship when someone else made all the decisions. 

After the first war, many Americans lost sight of the fact that 
only the strong can be free. Many mistook an ominous lull for per- 
manent peace. In those days the Legion knew, however, that he who 
is not prepared today is less so tomorrow, and that only a society 
which could fight for survival would survive. 

The Legion's fight to awaken America to the need for military 
preparedness is now largely won. We have made great advances in 
understanding the problem of national security in the modern world. 
We no longer think in terms of American resources alone. We under- 
stand the need for a great international system of security, and we 
have taken the lead in building it. 

We have joined our strength with that of others— and we have 
done so in self-protection. We seek no dominion over any other 



nation— and the whole free world knows it. If there are those behind 
the Iron Curtain who don't know it, it is because their masters don't 
want them to know it. 

I am not sure that, historically, there has been another powerful 
nation that has been trusted as the United States is trusted today. 
It is something new under the sun when the proudest nations on 
earth have not only accepted American leadership in the common 
defense effort, but have also welcomed our troops and bases on their 
territory. Ports the world around are open to American warships by 
day or night. Our airmen are stationed in the most distant lands. 

Yet all is not perfect. There are still vital interests which we and 
our allies are not militarily prepared to defend. 

Some of us are reluctant to admit that peace cannot be won 
cheaply by some clever diplomatic maneuver or by propaganda. 

We have not yet really faced up to the problem of defending our 
cities against the rapidly growing threat of Soviet air power. There is, 
for example, a great shortage of volunteers for our civil defense 
ground-observation corps. 

Finally, many only partly understand or are loath to acknowledge 
that the costs of waging the cold war are but a fraction of the costs of 
general war. 

So there remain important tasks for us. I believe in a strong na- 
tional defense, and I believe that we must press forward to improve 
our position and not waver or hesitate in this interval when the scales 
are so precariously balanced. 

While I think it is true that today the fight for preparedness is 
going well, there are other and even more difficult tasks that we dare 
not neglect. 

The United States has very large power in the world today. And 
the partner of power is responsibility. It is our high task to use our 
power with a sure hand and a steady touch— with the self-restraint 
that goes with confident strength. The purpose of our power must 
never be lost in the fact of our power— and the purpose, I take it, is the 
promotion of freedom, justice and peace in the world. 

We talk a great deal about patriotism. What do we mean by 
patriotism in the context of our times? I venture to suggest that what 
we mean is a sense of national responsibility which will enable Amer- 
ica to remain master of her power— to walk with it in serenity and wis- 
dom, with self-respect and the respect of all mankind; a patriotism 
that puts country ahead of self; a patriotism which is not short, fren- 
zied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of 
a lifetime. These are words that are easy to utter, but this is a mighty 
assignment. For it is often easier to fight for principles than to live 
up to them. 

Patriotism, I have said, means putting country before self. This 


is no abstract phrase. Unhappily, we find some things in American 
life today of which we cannot be proud. 

Consider the groups who seek to identify their special interests 
with the general welfare. I find it sobering to think that their pres- 
sures might one day be focused on me. I have resisted them before 
and I hope the Almighty will give me the strength to do so again 
and again. And I should tell you now, as I would tell all other or- 
ganized groups, that I stand to resist pressures from veterans, too, if 
I think their demands are excessive or in conflict with the public 
interest, which must always be the paramount interest. 

Let me suggest, incidentally, that we are rapidly becoming a na- 
tion of veterans. If we were all to claim a special reward for our 
service, beyond that to which specific disability or sacrifice has cre- 
ated a just claim, who would be left to pay? After all, we are Ameri- 
cans first and veterans second, and the best maxim for any adminis- 
tration is still Jefferson's: "Equal rights for all, special privileges for 

True patriotism, it seems to me, is based on tolerance and a large 
measure of humility. 

There are men among us who use "patriotism" as a club for at- 
tacking other Americans. What can we say for the self-styled patriot 
who thinks that a Negro, a Jew, a Catholic, or a Japanese-American is 
less an American than he? That betrays the deepest article of our 
faith, the belief in individual liberty and equality which has always 
been the heart and soul of the American idea. 

What can we say for the man who proclaims himself a patriot— 
and then for political or personal reasons attacks the patriotism of 
faithful public servants? I give you, as a shocking example, the attacks 
which have been made on the loyalty and the motives of our great 
war-time chief of staff, General Marshall. To me this is the type of 
"patriotism" which is, in Dr. Johnson's phrase, the last refuge of 

The anatomy of patriotism is complex. But surely intolerance and 
public irresponsibility cannot be cloaked in the shining armor of 
rectitude and righteousness. Nor can the denial of the right to hold 
ideas that are different— the freedom of man to think as he pleases. 
To strike freedom of the mind with the fist of patriotism is an old 
and ugly subtlety. 

And the freedom of the mind, my friends, has served America 
well. The vigor of our political life, our capacity for change, our cul- 
tural, scientific and industrial achievements, all derive from free in- 
quiry, from the free mind— from the imagination, resourcefulness and 
daring of men who are not afraid of new ideas. Most all of us favor 
free enterprise for business. Let us also favor free enterprise for the 
mind. In the last analysis we would fight to the death to protect it. 


Why is it, then, that we are sometimes slow to detect, or are indiffer- 
ent to, the dangers that beset it? 

Many of the threats to our cherished freedoms in these anxious, 
troubled times arise, it seems to me, from a healthy apprehension 
about the communist menace within our country. Communism is 
abhorrent. It is the strangulation of the individual; it is the death of 
the soul. Americans who have surrendered to this misbegotten idol 
have surrendered their right to our trust. And there can be no secure 
place for them in our public life. Yet, as I have had occasion to say 
before, we must take care not to burn down the barn to kill the rats. 
All of us, and especially patriotic organizations of enormous influ- 
ence like the American Legion, must be vigilant in preserving our 
birthright from its too zealous friends while protecting it from its evil 

The tragedy of our day is the climate of fear in which we live, 
and fear breeds repression. Too often sinister threats to the Bill of 
Rights, to freedom of the mind, as I have said, are concealed under 
the patriotic cloak of anti-communism. 

I could add, from my own experience, that it is never necessary 
to call a man a Communist to make political capital. Those of us who 
have undertaken to practice the ancient but imperfect art of govern- 
ment will always make enough mistakes to keep our critics well sup- 
plied with standard ammunition. There is no need for poison gas. 

Another feature of our life that I think invites a similar restraint 
is the recurrent attacks in some communities upon our public schools. 

There is no justification for indiscriminate attacks on our schools 
and the sincere, devoted, and by no means overpaid teachers who 
labor in them. If there are any communist teachers, of course they 
should be excluded, but the task is not one for self-appointed thought 
police or ill-informed censors. As a practical matter, we do not stop 
communist activity in this way. What we do is give the Communists 
material with which to defame us. And we also stifle the initiative of 
teachers and depreciate the prestige of the teaching profession which 
should be as honorable and esteemed as any among us. 

Let me now, in my concluding words, inquire with you how we 
may affirm our patriotism in the troubled yet hopeful years that are 

The central concern of the American Legion— the ideal which 
holds it together— the vitality which animates it— is patriotism. And 
those voices which we have heard most clearly and which are best re- 
membered in our public life have always had the accent of patriotism. 

It is always accounted a virtue in a man to love his country. With 
us it is now something more than a virtue. It is a necessity, a condition 
of survival. When an American says that he loves his country, he 
means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glis- 


tening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and 
the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which 
freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect. 

Men who have offered their lives for their country know that 
patriotism is not the fear of something; it is the love of something. 
Patriotism with us is not the hatred of Russia; it is the love of this 
Republic and of the ideal of liberty of man and mind in which it 
was born and to which this Republic is dedicated. 

With this patriotism— patriotism, in its larger and wholesome 
meaning— America can master its power and turn it to the noble 
cause of peace. We can maintain military power without militarism; 
politicial power without oppression; and moral power without com- 
pulsion or complacency. 

The road we travel is long, but at the end lies the grail of peace. 
And in the valley of peace we see the faint outlines of a new world, 
fertile and strong. It is odd that one of the keys to abundance should 
have been handed to civilization on a platter of destruction. But the 
power of the atom to work evil gives only the merest hint of its power 
for good. 

I believe that man stands on the eve of his greatest day. I know, 
too, that that day is not a gift but a prize; that we shall not reach it 
until we have won it. 

Legionnaires are united by memories of war. Therefore, no group 
is more devoted to peace. I say to you now that there is work to 
be done, that the difficulties and dangers that beset our path at home 
and abroad are incalculable. There is sweat and sacrifice; there is 
much of patience and quiet persistence in our horoscope. Perhaps 
the goal is not even for us to see in our lifetime. 

But we are embarked on a great adventure. Let us proclaim our 
faith in the future of man. Of good heart and good cheer, faithful to 
ourselves and our traditions, we can lift the cause of freedom, the 
cause of free men, so high no power on earth can tear it down. We 
can pluck this flower, safety, from this nettle, danger. Living, speak- 
ing, like men— like Americans— we can lead the way to our rendez- 
vous in a happy, peaceful world. 

The New South 


Mosque Auditorium 

September 20, 1952 

I was reminded that my grandfather, a candidate for Vice President, 
spoke here in Richmond exactly sixty years ago this week in the Acad- 
emy of Music. According to the newspaper account, the audience re- 
sponded enthusiastically to his "exposure of the iniquities of the Repub- 
lican tariff system," and he took his seat amid "deafening applause." 

For the deafening applause his grandson is prepared to wait the 
conclusion of his remarks, and meanwhile any reference to Republican 
iniquities will be wholly unintentional. 

Here in Richmond tonight, in Virginia, rich both in history and in 
the knowledge of its history, I am moved to talk for a few minutes of 
the past. 

This is not an idle task. We can chart our future clearly and wisely 
only when we know the path which has led to the present. A great 
philosopher has said that those who can't remember the past are con- 
demned to live it again. 

The South is a good place to take our bearings, because in no part 
of the country does the past— a past of great nobility and great tragedy 
—more sharply etch the present than in the South. It is a good place to 
think of the grim problems of war and peace which weigh so heavily on 
all of us today. 

For here we can best learn the lessons suggested by the peace of 
1865, made when the great voice of moderation had been stilled. The 
victor's settlement permitted the South to keep its charm, its mocking- 
birds, and its beaten biscuits. For himself the victor retained only the 
money and the power. 

It took the South decades to recover. During these bleak years, 
from 1865 to 1912, the Republican party was constantly in power, ex- 
cept for the two discontinuous terms of Grover Cleveland. And, again, 
between Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, it had another long 
term of rule. The Democratic party, therefore, had the dubious distinc- 
tion of wandering in the desert for a longer time than the children of 
Israel after their flight from Egypt. 

For the South this period was a desert without an oasis. But how- 



ever hard it was to bear at the time, we in the more fortunate present 
can view it with a semblance of charity. For the Republican leadership 
did not neglect the South and other Democrats simply because you were 



In its frozen impartiality it also neglected Republican farmers, 
small business men, and working people. Men earned the neglect of the 
Republican leaders not by their political affiliation, but by being small 
and poor. This is why so many people have shifted to the Democratic 

The Republican leadership did not merely treat the South with 
arrogant and massive neglect. It did more. It shackled the South, and 
millions outside the South, through its control of Congress, its control 
of money and banking, its favoritism to powerful interests, its espousal 
of high tariffs, high interest rates and unfair freight rates. 

In the larger sense you became colonials of an empire which, if it 
was not alien, was at least absentee. Yours was primarily an agricultural 
economy, depending for cash income largely on cotton and tobacco. 
Of these you produced far more than could be consumed at home. 

You paid exorbitant rates of interest for mortgage and crop loans. 
Nobody consulted you about freight rates. You just paid them. Crops 
sold for what they would bring, because farmers could not hold them 
for higher prices. Bitterly they witnessed prices rise only after their 
crops had gone out of their hands. 

It is interesting to recall that more than half a century ago Southern 
and Western farmers pleaded for Government warehouses where they 
could hold their crops for better prices in exchange for certificates at 80 
per cent of the market value. The plan was denounced by Republican 
leaders as socialistic, a phrase they evidently never get tired of. 

But now, since the Democrats have enacted essentially the same 
plan, the Republicans approve enthusiastically. Indeed, bidding for the 
farm vote up in Minnesota the other day, the Republican candidate for 
President pulled the Democratic platform right out from under me. 

But to return to the past. When you marketed your crops abroad, 
you sold in free markets for the going price. But when you bought 
manufactured goods at home, Republican tariffs compelled you to pay 
through the nose. You have been protesting this injustice since at least 
the year 1828. 

Of course the Republican tariff wasn't all bad. It generously per- 
mitted Americans to worship at duty-free altars; eat from duty-free tin 
cans; import duty-free yachts; be hanged with duty-free rope; and ad- 
mire duty-free paintings in museums. 

The Republicans were still at their old game only a little while ago, 
and I wish we could be sure they would not return to it if they have a 
chance. Over the protest of over a thousand American economists they 
enacted the Smoot-Hawley tariff that raised rates to an all-time high. 


I need not tell Virginians, or your tobacco-growing and tobacco- 
processing neighbors, what that did to tobacco exports. Nor need I re- 
mind Southern cotton growers and cotton manufacturers how they were 
harmed; or say that this tariff was a turning point in precipitating the 
world-wide depression of the 1930's. 

But I am not going to talk about the depression when the average 
yearly income of the families of one Southern state was $200. I have 
said— and I repeat— that I am not running against President Hoover. 
Indeed, I think all of us have reason to be grateful to him for the work 
of the Hoover Commission. And the fact of the matter is, I don't know 
who I am running against, but I strongly suspect it is Senator Taft, 
after all. 

But I most certainly am running against the unchanging and appar- 
ently unchangeable attitudes of the Republican leadership. Presidents 
come and go. But attitudes remain. For a political party, as a man, is 
the sum total of its inheritance, environment, experience and attitudes. 

Thus, for example, when the depression was coming on, the Secre- 
tary of the Treasury was Andrew Mellon. What was his formula for 
dealing with the depression? How did he propose to act when the 
magnificent promise of American life seemed at a shabby and ignomini- 
ous end? Mr. Hoover, in his recently published memoirs, tells us. It was: 
"Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farms, liquidate real 

That is certainly one way to deal with a depression— the graveyard 
way. But somehow the American people were less than enthusiastic 
about it, and they turned to the Democratic party which held out the 
prospect of life and hope. 

The Democratic party of today was born, then, of the sufferings of 
the people. It is neither all-wise nor all-knowing, for these are not man's 
gifts, but God's. But it is now— as it always has been— compassionate, 
merciful, humane; no stranger to human needs and wants and fears. 

The task of striking off the shackles of the South, begun by Wood- 
row Wilson, has brought you to your rightful place in the Union, not 
as a matter of charity, not as a sectional matter, but because a happy, 
purposeful people in a strong, prosperous country is the democratic 
goal. The Southern states, too, it seems to me, have played a large part 
in liberating men's creative energies and reaching these goals. 

Everywhere this liberation of man's powers during the Democratic 
decades has brilliantly succeeded, but nowhere has its success been 
more marked than in the South. Here has come the richest flowering of 
a great region our nation has witnessed. A new vitality and creative 
energy is apparent in every aspect of Southern culture, material, intel- 
lectual and spiritual. Your colleges are crowded. There is a keen inter- 
est in the arts. 

Some years ago a famous American critic said that the South was 


the wasteland of the mind. Yet at that very moment, I am told, so many 
of your housewives had novels simmering with the soup— among them 
Gone With the Wind— that many husbands had to wait for supper. 

And men— in an effort perhaps to keep up with their women, among 
them your own Ellen Glasgow— were writing books and plays, too. So 
it was that the Nobel prize for literature came to the Mississippian, 
William Faulkner; a prize that he accepted in an exalted address, ex- 
tolling the unconquerable spirit of man. 

If this means much to the nation, it also, I am sure, means much to 
you. Your way has often been hard. Yet you have always held that 
civilization is something more than the bending of the resources of 
nature to the uses of man. Man cannot live without bread, but his spirit 
cannot live by bread alone. 

In the course of this resurgence, I hope that it may be possible for 
us to keep all that was good of the Old South, while embracing all that 
is good of the New South. Technicians can make a country, but they 
alone cannot create a civilization. There are riches in your inheritance 
which are sometimes overlooked— riches which the rest of the nation 
could borrow with great profit. I believe it was Gladstone who said that 
no greater misfortune could befall a people than to break utterly with 
its past. 

Among the most valuable heritages of the Old South is its political 
genius, which in many respects was far ahead of its time. Even today 
some of the finest products of Southern governmental thought are only 
beginning to win the general acceptance which they have so long 

A classic example, it seems to me, is the Constitution of the Con- 
federacy. Scholars of constitutional law have long recognized it as a 
sound and most thoughtful document. It contained some brilliant in- 
novations, including the so-called item veto— authorizing the President 
to disapprove individual items in an appropriation bill without having 
to veto the entire message. 

This inspiration of the Confederate statesmen has since been in- 
corporated into the constitutions of about three-fourths of our states, 
including my own State of Illinois. 

Is it too much to hope that our Federal Government may soon 
adopt this priceless invention of Southern statesmanship? I hope not, 
because it is a most useful tool. It has enabled me to veto more appro- 
priations, involving more money, than any Governor in Illinois history. 
And it is one reason why forty-six other states had higher state tax 
burdens than Illinois in relation to the income of their citizens last year. 

In other fields, I am glad to note, the Southern talent for govern- 
ment has won the recognition which is its due. Many of your states are 
among the best governed in the land. Southern diplomats have earned 
wholehearted respect in Asia and Europe. In Congress Southern leaders 


once again give wise and distinguished service to the nation, especially 
in the all-important area of foreign affairs. 

I am proud to have one of them, Senator John Sparkman of Ala- 
bama, as my running mate. And I am also proud that other such leaders 
—each himself a candidate for the Presidency— have given me their 
support— Senator Kefauver and my distant kinsman, Richard Russell 
of Georgia. 

Just as the governmental contributions of the South sometimes 
were not fully appreciated in the past, so, too, I suspect, some of the 
problems of the South have not been fully understood elsewhere. One 
of these is the problem of minorities— a problem which I have had occa- 
sion to think about a good deal, since my own state also has minority 

One thing that I have learned is that minority tensions are always 
strongest under conditions of hardship. During the long years of Re- 
publican neglect and exploitation, many Southerners— white and Negro 
—have suffered even hunger, the most degrading of man's adversities. 
All the South, in one degree or another, was afflicted with a pathetic 
lack of medical services, poor housing, poor schooling, and a hundred 
other ills flowing from the same source of poverty. 

The once low economic status of the South was productive of 
another— and even more melancholy— phenomenon. Many of the la- 
mentable differences between Southern whites and Negroes, ascribed 
by insensitive observers to race prejudice, have arisen for other reasons. 
Here economically depressed whites and economically depressed Ne- 
groes often had to fight over already gnawed bones. 

Then there ensued that most pathetic of struggles : the struggle of 
the poor against the poor. It is a struggle that can easily become embit- 
tered, for hunger has no heart. But, happily, as the economic status of 
the South has risen, as the farms flourish and in the towns there are jobs 
for all at good wages, racial tensions have diminished. 

In the broad field of minority rights, the Democratic party has 
stated its position in its platform; a position to which I adhere. I should 
justly earn your contempt if I talked one way in the South and another 
way elsewhere. 

Certainly no intellectually dishonest presidential candidate could, 
by an alchemy of election, be converted into an honest President. I shall 
not go anywhere with beguiling serpent words. To paraphrase the words 
of Senator John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, better to be a dog and 
bay the moon. 

I should like to say a word about the broader aspects of minority 

First, I utterly reject the argument that we ought to grant all men 
their rights just because if we do not we shall give Soviet Russia a 
propaganda weapon. This concept is itself tainted with Communist 


wiliness. It insultingly implies that were it not for the Communists we 
would not do what is right. 

The answer to this argument is that we must do right for right's 
sake alone. I, for one, do not propose to adjust my ethics to the values 
of a bloodstained despotism, scornful of all that we hold dear. 

Second, I reject as equally contemptible the reckless assertions that 
the South is a prison in which half the people are prisoners and the 
other half are wardens. I view with scorn those who hurl charges that 
the South— or any group of Americans— is wedded to wrong and in- 
capable of right. For this itself is an expression of prejudice compounded 
with hatred; a poisonous doctrine for which, I hope, there will never be 
room in our country. 

So long as man remains a little lower than the angels, I suppose 
that human character will never free itself entirely from the blemish 
of prejudice, religious or racial. These are prejudices, unhappily, that 
tend to rise wherever the minority in question is large, running here 
against one group and there against another. 

Some forget this, and in talking of the South, forget that in the 
South the minority is high. Some forget, too, or don't know about strides 
the South has made in the past decade toward equal treatment. 

But I do not attempt to justify the unjustifiable, whether it is anti- 
Negroism in one place, anti-Semitism in another— or for that matter, 
anti-Southernism in many places. And neither can I justify self-right- 
eousness anywhere. Let none of us be smug on this score, for nowhere 
in the nation have we come to that state of harmonious amity between 
racial and religious groups to which we aspire. 

The political abuse of the problem of discrimination in employ- 
ment, the exploitation of racial aspirations on the one hand and racial 
prejudice on the other— all for votes— is both a dangerous thing and a 
revolting spectacle in our political life. It will alwavs be better to reason 
together than to hurl recriminations at one another. 

Our best lesson on reason and charity was read to us by Robert 
E. Lee. It was not the least of his great contributions to the spirit of 
America that, when he laid down his sword, he became president of 
a small college in Lexington— now the splendid college of Washington 
and Lee. There he remained the rest of his life; unifying, not dividing; 
loving, not hating. 

As the autumn of 1865 was coming on, General Lee, in one of the 
noblest of American utterances, said: "The war being at an end, the 
Southern states having laid down their arms, and the questions at issue 
between them and the Northern states having been decided, I believe 
it to be the duty of everyone to unite in the restoration of the country 
and the re-establishment of peace and harmony . . ." Then he con- 
cluded: "I know of no surer way of eliciting truth than by burying con- 
tention with the war." 


"We have great need of Lee's spirit in this hour of peril to our coun- 
try, when voices of hatred and unreason arise again in our land. As free 
men we shall always, I hope, differ upon many things. But I also hope 
that we shall never be divided upon those concepts that are enshrined 
in our religious faith and the charters of our country's greatness. 

No one could stand here in Richmond without reverence for those 
great Virginians— Washington, whose sturdy common sense was the 
mortar of our foundations, and Jefferson, that universal genius who, 
proclaiming the Rights of Man when few men had any rights anywhere, 
shook the earth and made this feeble country the hope of the oppressed 
everywhere. And so it is today after nearly two centuries. 

Fortunately for us all, the Southern political genius still lives. It 
flamed not long ago in Woodrow Wilson. It burns steadily today among 
Southern members of Congress, and among many of the leaders of your 

Good politics make good government. In this campaign I shall not 
try to minimize the tasks which we confront. That we shall pass through 
these troubled times I am sure, not by grace alone, but by faith, intel- 
ligence and implacable determination. 

In my travels about the country of late in quest of your confidence 
I have felt that determination, that indomitable spirit. But nowhere 
more than here where I suspect it is as strong today as it was in the 
spring of 1865, when the Army of Northern Virginia returned to their 
homes. They found a wasteland of burned houses and barns, fences 
fallen and ditches caved in, weeds and sorrow brooding over the fields. 

That was in April. But by June a cotton crop was growing. The 
next year the crop was larger, and the next year it was still larger and 
so, painfully and slowly, with no help except their hands and the 
benison of God, the South started on its long march from desolation to 

This is part of your great heritage. And if I could speak for all 
Americans as I now do for myself, I would say that it also is part of the 
great heritage of America. 

The Atomic Future 


Bushnell Memorial Hall 

September 18, 1952 

It is a great pleasure for me to come to Connecticut. I first came here 
to school not far from Hartford many years ago as a small and shy Mid- 
Western boy. I have always gratefully recalled the warmth with which 
your citizens took me in, and also the patience with which my teachers 
tried to educate me, here in the lovely Connecticut Valley. 

More recently, since I became active in public affairs, I have found 
some new satisfactions in this commonwealth. Few states have matched 
Connecticut in the brilliance of the political leadership it has contrib- 
uted to the nation of late. The tragic passing of your late Senator Brien 
McMahon deprived the country of one of our most useful and accom- 
plished public servants. Your former Governor, Chester Bowles, now 
serving our people— and the free world— so wisely and imaginatively in 
India, was my schoolmate here in Connecticut long ago, and my ad- 
miration has not diminished with the years. 

The voters of Connecticut have an opportunity this year to con- 
tinue this kind of high-minded, high-principled, creative political leader- 
ship. I hope that you will avail yourselves of this opportunity by send- 
ing two splendid Democrats to the Senate this November— Bill Benton 
and Abe Ribicoff . I expect to be there in Washington and I have no illu- 
sions about what awaits me there. I'll need them— both of them— and 
so will the people of Connecticut. 

Bill Benton, who, I am proud to say, has been my friend of many 
years, has been one of our great fighters for freedom. He has fought 
hard for democracy abroad and at home. I know what he did as Assist- 
ant Secretary of State to create and build up our means of communicat- 
ing America to the captive millions abroad and to sow seeds of reason 
and understanding throughout the world. I know because I worked in 
related fields here and abroad at the same time. He knows where the 
front lines in the fight against communism are; and he has labored 
day and night to support and strengthen the brave men and women 
manning those front lines. 

And he has fought just as hard for democracy here at home. He has 



been a leader in the struggle for equal rights and opportunities for all 
our citizens. No Senator has surpassed him in the boldness of his defense 
of the simple decencies in our public life, nor in the struggle for free- 
dom from coarse, unprincipled calumny. Besides he is a man who would 
rather be right than be Senator— who is going back to the Senate be- 
cause he is right— Bill Benton. 

You have to live with your conscience in this life. It must be pretty 
uncomfortable for a lot of people who shrink from the tests of public 
life. But I don't think Bill Benton has been losing any sleep. 

I give you another example of independence and courage. Some 
months ago your Congressman Ribicoff dumfounded the House of 
Representatives in Washington by voting against a pork-barrel project 
for his own district. Abe Ribicoff told his constituents the truth— that 
this project was not needed badly enough to justify the cost. His Con- 
gressional colleagues, I am informed, began to speak of him in the past 
tense. "Too bad about Abe," they said. "He was so young and promising. 
He should not have committed political suicide." But he still seems to 
be among us today— a candidate for the Senate, qualified by probity in 
domestic policy and wise judgment in foreign policy. 

It would be pleasant in any case to appear here with these men. It 
is the pleasanter now because, unlike another seeker after high office, 
I do not have to swallow any principles when I express my respect for 
them. Bill Benton and Abe Ribicoff are, of course, good Democrats, but 
more than that, they are good Americans. 

I don't have to get out a political slide rule and calculate whether 
supporting Bill Benton or disowning him would be least disastrous for 
the national ticket. I don't have to go to the dictionary and search for a 
word that says I'm both for him and against him. Nor do I have to ask 
you to put on a gas mask and go into the polling booth to vote for him 
because someone has told me our party needs control of the Senate. 
What kind of control do you get anyway from men who oppose every- 
thing you stand for? 

In recent weeks my distinguished opponent has adopted the singu- 
lar theory that a candidate for President should support all state and 
local candidates on his party ticket— good, bad, indifferent— and regard- 
less of their views and records. 

I believe this is a new theory , even in the Republican party. It was not 
too long ago when Governor Dewey, as party leader, honorably refused 
to support a Republican Congressman who had distinguished himself 
by incessant and noisy opposition to vital national policies. But the Gen- 
eral's theory is not only novel, it is dangerous. If the voters of this nation 
ever stop looking at the record and the character of candidates, and look 
only at their party label, it will be a sorry day for healthy democracy. 

It is hard enough that the General has felt it necessary to support 
and ally himself with the many Republican Senators and Congressmen 


who have bitterly opposed the Marshall Plan, military aid to our allies 
and other constructive foreign-policy measures— with some of which 
the General himself was only recently identified. But the episode at 
Indianapolis must have been even more painful, for the pursuit of 
power at any price is distasteful to any honorable man. 

Like the crossed palm, the tarnished mind and the troubled heart 
are threats to democracy, too. Win or lose, I will not accept the proposi- 
tion that party regularity is more important than political ethics. Vic- 
tory can be bought too dearly. 

But this exhibition of Republican expediency is not what I wanted 
to talk to you about. I wanted to talk here tonight about something 
which transcends politics— atomic energy, which is the new dimension 
in all our thinking— and also about the relation of power to peace. 

I was moved to select this topic because atomic energy is a major 
component of our power and because our decisions and actions in 
atomic-energy matters, as they relate to preparedness for both war and 
peace, will long bear the imprint of our wise and lamented friend, Brien 
McMahon of Connecticut. 

Brien McMahon was among the first to see the great potentialities 
for good and evil which were opened up by this advance of the fron- 
tiers of knowledge. He sought to educate himself in, and to give inde- 
pendent thought to, the problems it presented. He sought to reconcile 
the needs for security with the needs for information— both to encourage 
further scientific advances and an intelligent public opinion. He saw the 
need for civilian control. He fought to keep the sights of the develop- 
ment program high. 

We have already, for example, opened up new fields of medical 
research. Brien McMahon died of cancer. With luck and the help of 
atomic research, our children may be safe from this grim disease. 

We have already produced, with an atomic reactor, the steam to 
generate electric power. We are building now— and in a Connecticut 
shipyard— an atomic-powered submarine. We can begin to dream of 
electric stations, ships, airplanes and machinery to be powered by the 
atom. Men are at work today with atomic tools trying to find out how 
plants convert energy from the sun into food. It is not too fantastic to 
think that we may, in time, unlock new doors to boundless energy for 
our homes and industries. 

This is a field in which government and industry can work in ever 
more fruitful partnership. The people of this country have invested 
more than six billion dollars in atomic development. This work must be 
for the good of all, and not just for the profits of some. But more can be 
done to work out new relationships in this field between government 
and business— relationships which will safeguard the public interest and 
yet allow full room for private initiative. 

This is the excitement of the future which awaits us. The age of 


atomic abundance is still far off. And we will never be able to release 
the power of the atom to build unless we are able to restrain its power 
to destroy. This is the merciless question of the present— the question of 
what we should do with atomic power in a divided world. 

Here again we face a bitter decision. We shrink from the use of 
such weapons— weapons which destroy the guilty and innocent alike, 
like a terrible sword from Heaven. But can we renounce the power 
which science has given us when renunciation might expose our peo- 
ple to destruction? 

We cannot. And in the decision to move ahead Brien McMahon 
again played a leading role. He demanded that we constantly step up 
our reserves of atomic weapons. He worked always to keep the sights 
of the atomic-energy program high and its policies bold— and the 
United States has made a notable contribution to the security of the 
free world by its rapid development of atomic power. 

Winston Churchill said that Western Europe would probably have 
been overrun by now if we had not had atomic weapons. Yet there has 
always seemed to me a danger in making the atomic bomb the center 
of our defense strategy. The bomb is but one part of a general system 
of defense. It cannot be a substitute for such a general system. It can- 
not be our only answer to aggression. Until it is subjected to safe inter- 
national control, we have no choice but to insure our atomic superiority. 

But there can be no solution in an arms race. At the end of this 
road lies bankruptcy or world catastrophe. Already the earth is haunted 
by premonitions in this shadowed atomic age. Mankind must deserve 
some better destiny than this. 

Because our government knew the futility of the arms race, it made 
its great decision to seek an international system for the control of 
atomic power. We went to the United Nations and offered to share with 
other nations the good in atomic energy. In return, we asked that other 
nations join with us to curb its power for evil. 

I think this decision was right— profoundly right. Few things we 
have done since 1945 have so clearly demonstrated our national deter- 
mination to achieve peace and to strengthen international order. By 
this offer, all nations were asked to diminish their own sovereignty in 
the interests of world security— just as each of us gives up some degree 
of personal independence when communities establish laws and set up 
police forces to see that they are carried out. 

Unfortunately, as we all know, the Soviet Union has thus far re- 
fused to join in a workable system. The reason is obvious. To be effec- 
tive, such a system would require effective United Nations inspection; 
and the Kremlin fears to open up the windows and doors of its giant 
prison. It fears to have the rest of the world learn the truth about the 
Soviet Union. It fears even more to have the Russian peoples learn the 
truth about the rest of the world. 


And so the negotiations have long been deadlocked. And, in irrita- 
tion and disgust, some of us have rebelled against the whole idea of 
negotiation itself. Some of us have even felt that our possession of the 
bomb makes negotiation unnecessary; and, if our allies are alarmed by 
our uncompromising attitude, so much the worse for them. When we 
have the bomb as our ally, some of us may say: we need no other. 

Such ideas are folly. If we started throwing our atomic weight 
around the world, no stockpile of bombs could remotely make up for 
all the friends we would lose. And the irony is that it is our allies who 
make our atomic strength effective. We built the bomb with the help 
and co-operation of foreign scientists. Our atomic-production program 
today depends on foreign supplies of uranium. Our air power would be 
gravely crippled without foreign bases. Even in terms of the bomb itself, 
going it alone would simply be a shortcut to national disaster. 

A year ago some Republican leaders contended that the best way 
to stop that war in Korea would be to extend it to the mainland of 
China. In the same vein, Republican leaders today seem to be arguing 
that the best way to deal with Soviet power in Europe is to instigate 
civil war in the satellite countries. These are dangerous, reckless, fool- 
ish counsels and likely to lead to the sacrifice of the very people whom 
we hope to liberate. And I am glad to see that the General has evi- 
dently reconsidered these proposals. 

And likewise the Democratic party opposes that weird Republican 
policy which proposes to reduce our contributions to free-world 
strength, on the one hand, while it steps up its verbal threats against the 
enemy, on the other. Theodore Roosevelt used to say: "Speak softly and 
carry a big stick." But these modern Republicans seem to prefer to 
throw away the stick and scream imprecations. 

The Democratic party will never desist in the search for peace. We 
must never close our minds or freeze our positions. We must strive con- 
stantly to break the deadlock in our atomic discussions. But we can 
never yield on the objective of securing a fool-proof system of inter- 
national inspection and control. And we will never confuse negotiation 
with appeasement. 

In the long run, the strength of free nations resides as much in this 
willingness to reduce their military power and subject it to international 
control as in the size of their military establishments. This desire and 
willingness of the free nations to give up their preponderant power and 
to abandon force as an instrument of national policy in the interests of 
peace is not only unprecedented— it provides the moral justification for 
the amassing of great power. And we must never delude ourselves into 
thinking that physical power is a substitute for moral power which is the 
true sign of national greatness. 

I hold out no foolish hopes. We all know the character of the men 
in the Kremlin— their fanaticism, their ruthlessness, their limitless ambi- 


tions. But we know too that their realism has restrained them thus far 
from provoking a general war which they would surely lose. And they 
know that they can have peace and freedom from fear whenever they 
want it and are prepared to honor their war-time pledges and the 
obligations assumed when they signed the United Nations charter. We 
may hope that the steady strengthening of the free world will increase 
their sense of the futility of aggression; that the intensification of peace- 
ful pressures against the Soviet empire will sharpen the internal con- 
tradictions within that empire; that, in time, free peoples may lift their 
heads again in Eastern Europe, and new policies and leadership emerge 
within the Soviet Union itself. 

No one can be certain about the meaning of peace. But we all can 
be certain about the meaning of war. The future is still open— open for 
disaster, if we seek peace cheaply or meanly, but open for real peace, if 
we seek it bravely and nobly. 

In any case, let us not cower with fear before this new instrument 
of power. Nature is neutral. Man has wrested from nature the power 
to make the world a desert or to make the deserts bloom. There is no 
evil in the atom; only in men's souls. We have dealt with evil men be- 
fore, and so have our fathers before us, from the beginning of time. The 
way to deal with evil men has never varied; stand up for the right, and, 
if needs must be, fight for the right. 

To my Republican listeners I would say: the atomic adventure 
transcends partisan issues. Win or lose, we Democrats will work with 
you to follow this adventure to the end of peace and plenty for man- 

To my fellow Democrats I would close by repeating what Brien 
McMahon said in his last public appearance. He said the "way to worry 
about November is to worry about what is right. If we do not stand for 
the right, 10,000 campaign speeches will never help us. If we do stand 
for the right, we will again be asked to lead our country." 

On Communism 

September 12, 1952 

We would err if we regard communism as merely an external threat. 
Communism is a great international conspiracy. The United States has 
been for years a major target of that conspiracy. 

Communist agents have sought to steal our scientific and military 
secrets, to mislead and corrupt our young men and women, to infiltrate 
positions of power in business firms and labor unions and in the Govern- 
ment itself. At every turn they have sought to serve the purpose of the 
Soviet Union. 

In the pursuit of their objective, the Communists have been in- 
genious, disciplined, obedient and ruthless. Along the way they have 
gained the help, wittingly or unwittingly, of many Americans. The 
Communist conspiracy within the United States deserves the attention 
of every American citizen and the sleepless concern of the responsible 
agencies of Government. 

I feel that there still are people in this country under illusions 
about the nature of the Communist conspiracy abroad and at home. 
There aren't many American Communists— far fewer than in the days 
of the great depression— and they aren't, on the whole, very important. 

But they exist; and we should not forget their existence. Some, per- 
haps, are obstinate and hopeless in their faith. Others, perhaps, can be 
won back to an understanding of the democratic way of life. 

Communism is committed to the destruction of every value which 
the genuine American liberal holds most dear. So I would say to any 
Americans who cling to illusions about communism and its fake Utopia: 
wake up to the fact that you are in an allegiance with the devil and 
you must act soon if you hope to save your soul. 

And to those who in the service of the Soviet Union would commit 
acts prejudicial to the safety and security of the United States, I would 
say: under me as President of the United States Federal agencies will 
deal sternly and mercilessly with all who would betray their country 
and their freedom for the sake of manacles and chains. 

There is only one way for a free society to deal with this internal 
threat, and that is through the processes of justice. We have tightened 



up our espionage and security legislation. We have instituted a Federal 
loyalty system— and we did so, I should add, in 1947— three long years 
before the Senator from Wisconsin made his shrill discovery of the 
Communist menace. 

We have prosecuted the Communist leadership. Where the law has 
been violated the Justice Department has indicted and convicted the 
criminals. In all this effort we have had the faithful and resourceful 
work and national protection of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
I do not believe that anv agency of government is infallible and I think 
that of all agencies a bureau of detection should get the most strict and 
unrelenting public scrutiny. 

But, so far as I can see, the F.B.I, is doing and has done an excel- 
lent investigation job. To tell you— or to imply— as some do for political 
reasons— that the Government is crawling with Communists today is to 
say that the F.B.I, does not know its business. 

We can never relax our vigilance at home and abroad. When I say 
this, of course, I do not intend to approve all the excesses and errors 
committed in the name of anti-communism. Unfortunately there are 
among us men whose hope it is to profit from anxiety, hysteria and fear 
—to confuse, to blind, to obscure the issue for the American people. 

These salesmen of confusion are at work in the field of foreign 
policy, and they are at work on domestic issues. In the field of foreign 
policy they tell people that our greatest patriots, men like General 
Marshall, are traitors. They tell people, even while our soldiers are fight- 
ing Communist aggression in Korea, that our foreign policy is one of 

Men who participate in carrying out our foreign policy, men who 
served this nation as diplomats abroad, are now trying to tell the people 
that the United States treacherously "gave away" Poland, or "gave 
away" China to the Communists. 

If there were mistakes, let us discuss them. But let us never con- 
fuse honest mistakes, mistakes of judgment, with the insidious designs 
of traitors. Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those 
who steal from the public purse. 

Let me say, too, that it is a shabby thing for a man now to cry 
treacherv who only a few years ago said that the only difference be- 
tween Chinese Communists and Oklahoma Republicans is that the lat- 
ter did not carry guns. 

So far as I can see, many of the people most vocal in pursuing 
communism with words at home are the same people most silent when 
it comes to supporting the fight in the front lines against communism 
abroad. We must recognize that the fight against communism in our 
own countrv achieves its purposes only to the extent that it strengthens 
—and does not weaken— our democracy. 

But the excesses of those who exploit anti-communism do not alter 


the fact that our nation can never for one moment relax its guard. We 
must take care not to harm innocent people. We must remember that 
liberals are not Communists and that Socialists are not Communists, and 
that radicals in the American tradition are not Communists. 

But, where true Communists are concerned— men bound to the 
service and defense of the Stalinist tyranny— we must root them out and 
expect them to bear the consequences of their treachery to all America 
holds dearest. 

The One- Party Press 


September 8, 1952 

It is very pleasant to consider today that I have a group of editors and 
publishers temporarily at my mercy. I know it won't last long. But, since 
the press— some of it— keeps describing me as a captive candidate, I par- 
ticularly enjoy the opportunity of speaking to a captive audience. 

In addition, I have had a strange feeling these past weeks that 
people are following me. They all seem to be friendly, inquisitive and 
fumpled; they wear hats and keep writing things down on pieces of 
paper. I cannot drink a milk shake or put on a pair of shoes without their 
friendly but implacable surveillance. 

Given this relentless observation, I find it an agreeable change to 
stand here and look straight back at such a distinguished group of what 
I believe are called "opinion molders." 

If ignorance, apathy and excessive partisanship are still the greatest 
enemies of democracy— as I believe Bryce said some forty or fifty years 
ago— then of course it is up to a free press to help us on all three counts 
and all the time. Otherwise neither democratic government nor a free 
press can be sure of permanency. 

In short, government— our brand of representative government- 
depends on you, and, something which I think your profession some- 
times overlooks, you depend on government, for the ultimate protection 
of a free press resides in the constitutional guarantee. 

That is why the rock-bottom foundation of a free press is the in- 
tegrity of the people who run it. Our press may make a million mistakes 
of judgment without doing itself permanent harm so long as its pro- 
prietors are steadfast in their adherence to truth. I have no doubt what- 
ever that the bulk of owners and publishers and editors are doing an 
honest job with the news. 

I ought to know, because I am straining the impartiality of the 
press to the limit these days. Yet, as a candidate in a hard-fought cam- 
paign, I have been well impressed by the fair treatment accorded me by 
most newspapers, including most of those aligned editorially with the 
opposition. I am convinced that nearly all publishers are doing their 
honest best, according to their lights— even if I must confess that some- 
times their lights seem to me a little dim. 



I am glad to pay this tribute to the press. It is true, and I think it 
should be said. I am grateful for the impartiality and fullness of your 
news columns. 

Yet I am not recommending complacency, and, from my vantage 
point, certain defects are apparent. If I were still an editorial writer I 
suppose I would say that there are some ominous tendencies, or even 
that these tendencies could weaken the fabric of the Republic. 

In my new role in life, I can't help noticing from time to time— I 
want to put it as delicately as I can— that the overwhelming majority of 
the newspapers of the country are supporting the opposition candidate. 
This is something, I find, that even my best friends will tell me! And I 
certainly don't take it personally. 

In fact, I would have been somewhat startled and unhappy if I 
received much press support after the reception given my Democratic 
predecessors, Mr. Truman and Mr. Roosevelt. Some people might even 
have considered such support an ill omen. 

It would seem that the overwhelming majority of the press is just 
against Democrats. And it is against Democrats, so far as I can see, not 
after a sober and considered review of the alternatives, but auto- 
matically, as dogs are against cats. 

As soon as a newspaper— I speak of the great majority, not of the 
enlightened 10 per cent!— sees a Democratic candidate it is filled with 
an unconquerable yen to chase him up an alley. 

I still haven't got over the way some of our nation's great papers 
rushed to commit themselves to a candidate last spring, long before 
they knew what that candidate stood for, or what his party platform 
would be, or who his opponent was, or what would be the issues of the 

I know where a young publisher's fancy turns in that season of 
the year, and I don't blame them for a moment. But I feel that some of 
them may yet regret the impetuosity of their wooing now that autumn 
is here. 

I am touched when in these papers solicitous editorials appear 
about the survival of the two-party system. Now I really can't bring my- 
self to believe that the Republican party is about to fade away, even if 
it loses in 1952. If so, it is staging one of the longest and loudest death- 
bed scenes in history! 

How can the Republican party disappear when about 90 per cent 
of the press for ten or fifteen years has been telling the American people 
day in and day out that the Republican party alone can save the Repub- 
lic? Surely Republican publishers and editors don't honestly believe 
that they have so little influence! 

I am in favor of a two-party system in politics. And I think we have 
a pretty healthy two-party system at this moment. But I am in favor 
of a two-party system in our press too. And I am, frankly, considerably 


concerned when I see the extent to which we are developing a one-party 
press in a two-party country. I don't say this because of any concern 
over the coming election. My party has done all right in recent elections 
in spite of the country's editorial pages, and I have a hunch we will do 
all right this year too. 

But, as an ex-newspaper man and as a citizen, I am gravely con- 
cerned about the implications of this one-party system for our American 
press and our free society. 

A free society means a society based on free competition and there 
is no more important competition than competition in ideas, competi- 
tion in opinion. This form of competition is essential to the preservation 
of a free press. Indeed, I think the press should set an example to the 
nation in increasing opposition to uniformity. 

I think you will agree that we cannot risk complacency. We need 
to be rededicated every day to the unfinished task of keeping our free 
press truly free. We need to work harder for the time when all editors 
will honor their profession, when all publishers will have a sense of 
responsibility equal to their power and thus regain their power, if I may 
put it that way. 

It's not honest convictions honestly stated that concern me. Rather 
it is the tendency of many papers, and I include columnists, commen- 
tators, analysts, feature writers and so on, to argue editorially from the 
personal objective, rather than from the whole truth. 

As the old jury lawyer said: "And these, gentlemen, are the conclu- 
sions on which I base my facts." 

In short, it seems to me that facts, truth, should be just as sacred 
in the editorial column as the news column. And, as I have said, happily 
most papers, but by no means all, do struggle with sincerity for accu- 
racy in the news. Coming from Chicago, of course, I am not unfamiliar 
with the phenomenon of an editorial in every news column! 

What I am saying, in short, is that the press cannot condemn 
demagoguery, claptrap, distortion and falsehoods in politicians and 
public life on the one hand and practice the same abuses on the public 
themselves, on the other. I know the people are smarter than many 
politicians think and sometimes I suspect that even editors underesti- 
mate them. 

Let's not forget that the free press is the mother of all our liberties 
and of our progress under liberty. 

Having delivered myself of this, let me say a few words about the 
campaign. It is going to be a tough campaign, and I am not kidding my- 
self about the difficulties. My opponent is a great general who has 
served the Army and the nation well. He has behind him a vigorous and 
active party— a good deal of whose vigor and activity is devoted to the 
continual scrimmage between the rival Republican teams. 

Indeed, I wait breathlessly for each morning's newspaper to see 


which Republican party is on top that day. Nonetheless, I would be the 
last to underestimate the effectiveness or the determination of the pro- 
fessional Republican organization. 

But I think we have certain advantages too. One of them is that 
we are a relatively united party— not just in organization, but, and this 
may be more important, on our major problems. I do not think the people 
will install a party which does not seem capable of governing. And I do 
not see how anyone can really argue that this fretful, distracted and 
divided Republican party has that capacity. If it cannot govern itself, 
why should we suppose that it could govern the country? 

Another way of saying the same thing is that the Democratic party 
has policies. It has a foreign policy, and it has a domestic policy. Some 
Republicans like our policies; most Republicans hate our policies; but 
none of them seems to have any very distinctive policies of their own to 

We have policies, I think, because we have ideas. I know, of course, 
that the Democrats aren't supposed to have any ideas. We are supposed 
to be stable and weary and lacking new ideas— except on the occasions 
when we are supposed to be so vital and energetic and overflowing with 
new ideas as to constitute a danger to the Republic— or, at least, to the 

As for myself, I continue to regard the Democratic party as the 
party of constructive change in this country. It is always time for con- 
structive change, and that is what we will continue to offer the Ameri- 
can people. 

In short, I know it will be a hard fight. I hope it will be a clean 
one. We have had a lot of ground to make up. We have made up some. 
I figure that we still have a little distance to go. But I figure too that we 
are gaining steadily. As for more detailed predictions, I think I will 
leave that to you gentlemen! 

Of course, the campaign itself bulks large in our eyes today. I 
would like to conclude with the warning that we must not let it obscure 
the outlines of the world crisis in which we are involved. This genera- 
tion has been summoned to a great battle— the battle to determine 
whether we are equal to the task of world leadership. I will say to you 
that I am deeply persuaded that the press can be our shield and our 
spear in this battle. 

We must look largely to the press for the enlightenment that will 
arm us for this conflict. We should be able to look to the press for much 
of the sober certainty that will carry us to victory and peace. 

Our Government and our arms and our wealth will avail us little 
if the editors do not accept this invitation to greatness. The agents of 
confusion and fear must not usurp the seats of the custodians of truth 
and patriotism. 

In saying this, I want to emphasize my belief that the leadership 


for this development of a free press must come entirely from the pro- 
fession itself. 

Government has its co-operative part to play. It must do everything 
possible to oppose censorship and to free the channels of communica- 
tion. Beyond that point, it cannot safely go. 

The basic job can be done only within and by the free press itself, 
by you gentlemen. I know you can do it superbly. We have solemn 
reason to pray it will be done that way. 

Campaign Issues 

September 12, 1952 

We are now nearing the end of our first campaign swing through the 
West. It has been a fine trip; I haven't had a better time in years. 
F. D. R. used to say: "I'm an old campaigner and I love a good fight." 
I'm not an old campaigner yet. But I must say that I have enjoyed 
every minute so far. 

My ideas about campaigning are simple and primitive. It seems 
to me that the American people want to hear about the issues, and 
that it is the business of the candidates to talk plainly about these 
issues. As I said in Los Angeles yesterday, I don't think that issues 
are beneath the dignity of political candidates nor above the intelli- 
gence of American voters. 

What I had hoped to do was to raise a little debate between 
the two parties on some of the solemn questions of our national life. 
Thus far I can't say that I've had much success. 

So far as I can see, it is like trying to hold a conversation with 
a two-headed elephant. One head agrees with everything I say and 
the other fumes and curses at everything I say. The best debate of 
all, of course, would be between those two elephant heads. 

I have certain sympathies with my distinguished opponent. It 
must be hard to try to talk sense on issues when half your advisers 
tell you one thing and the other half tell you exactly the opposite. 
As a result of this, the Republican leadership has evidently decided 
that the only thing to do is to talk slogans, catchwords and epithets. 

I think a campaign for the Presidency is worth something better, 
but it begins to look as though the Republican leaders had decided 
to file notice of intellectual bankruptcy, accompanied by a deluge 
of abuse to their creditors— the people's intelligence. 

In fact, their whole campaign so far reminds me of a phono- 
graph record that monotonously repeats "I love you, I love you, I 
love you"— and adds "honey chile" and a rebel yell when the caravan 
moves South. When you turn the record over, it offers a catchy little 
number in waltz time, "A Change Is a Change Is a Change." 

I left Springfield exactly a week ago on this trip. We have cov- 



ered a lot of ground in seven short days. We went first to Denver, 
Colorado. You all know the Denver story. It used to be the campaign 
headquarters of the Republican candidate for President. 

I really don't know why the Republicans abandoned Denver. 
Maybe the high altitudes were too much for weak hearts. Or maybe 
the closeness of Denver to the Great Divide was just too uncom- 
fortable for a divided party. Or maybe the Republican leadership 
just didn't like the West! 

In any case, by the time I got to Denver, the General and his 
entourage had decided that it was time for a change— and had for- 
saken Colorado for New York City. 

From Denver we went back to Kasson, Minnesota, for a plowing 
contest. Or it started out as a plowing contest. After my distinguished 
opponent had given his speech, I began to wonder whether he didn't 
think it was a plowing-under contest. At least he spent most of his 
time plowing under the farm platform of the Republican party. 

For my part, I didn't have to plow under the Democratic farm 
platform; I could stand on it. In fact, I am perfectly willing to have 
the General try and stand on it too— though I wish he would be a 
bit more careful to request the permission of the copyright owners. 

Someone asked me the other day what I thought the main dif- 
ference between the Republican and Democratic platforms was. The 
answer is easy. The difference is this: 

The Republican presidential candidate always tries to run on the 
Democratic platform. But you will never, never find a Democratic 
presidential candidate trying to run on the Republican platform. 

Well, the General and I had our little set-to in Minnesota. I had 
hoped that we might have a debate upon farm policy. But the best 
debate, as usual, was between the Republican parties. One of the 
Republican parties opposes fixed parity prices at 90 per cent. That 
party wrote the platform in Chicago. Another of the Republican 
parties supports fixed parity prices. That party wrote the General's 

But when the General proposed that we should go up to 100 per 
cent, I think he may have misunderstood his audience. The farmers 
of America have too vivid a memory of the Republicans in the House 
voting against the 90 per cent support law last spring to be im- 
pressed by big talk about 100 per cent today. 

Moreover, I doubt whether they liked the idea of the Republi- 
can leadership treating the farm question like an auction, in which 
the farmers' votes would be sold to the highest bidder. Maybe the 
Republican leadership would get a little further if it began to treat 
the farmers like self-respecting Americans. 

From Minnesota we went on to Wyoming and Idaho and Mon- 
tana; and from there to Oregon and Washington. If you don't like 


to travel you shouldn't go into politics. But I do like to travel, espe- 
cially around this lovely and fertile land of ours. 

We have a great national heritage in our land, our forests and 
our rivers. You get an exciting sense of the richness and variety of 
this heritage when you travel through the Northwest. 

And you get an urgent sense of the vital importance of develop- 
ing this heritage in the interests of all the people of the country— 
and not permitting it to be a private reserve by which special groups 
can make profits for themselves at the expense of the common interest. 

You here in Arizona well know the importance of our Federal 
policies of conservation and reclamation. I have been told that the 
very first major reclamation project in the whole country was here 
in this state. I was especially interested to learn that the original 
pattern of co-operative membership by farmers in an irrigation dis- 
trict was worked out over at the Salt River project. 

Irrigation and reclamation laws nourished your state. Since 1940, 
farm income in Arizona has increased 386 per cent. And your total in- 
come rose, or rather leaped, 23 per cent from 1950 to 1951— more than 
any other state. Your extraordinary yields of long-staple cotton, and of 
melons, grapes, alfalfa and other crops contribute to the well-being 
of all of us. We in Illinois are better off because you are better off. 

There is another aspect of the conservation problem which was 
borne in on me, both in the Northwest and down here. That is the 
problem of controlling erosion and of preventing silt from choking 
irrigation works and reservoirs. 

One of the key points in this fight against erosion is overgrazing. 
I have stated already that I think the public ranges should be used 
wisely for grazing on a fair and equitable basis. But I am unalter- 
ably opposed to turning over control of those lands to private interests. 
They are public property, and they must be managed in the public 

So far as anyone can penetrate the foggy language of the Repub- 
lican platform, the Republican leadership is interested in giving these 
national resources away. 

"We favor," the Republican platform says, "restoration of the 
traditional Republican land policy"— and we all know what the tra- 
ditional Republican land policy is. I welcome battle on this issue. 
I am for conserving public wealth— the common property of the peo- 
ple—just as I am for conserving tax dollars. 

I hope that some day my distinguished opponent will come to 
see that both these questions involve the property of all the people. 
He is appalled— as I am— at those public servants who have given 
away tax favors, but he is apparently willing enough to give away the 
land, oil and other property of the people. 

In this fight for the conservation of the public domain, I take 


great comfort from the support of Senators Carl Hayden and Ernest 
VV. McFarland [Democrats of Arizona]. They are staunch allies in a 
good cause. 

I talked on these matters in Seattle and Portland, because little 
is more important to American survival than planning in time to 
assure the conservation and wise development of our natural re- 

From Seattle, I flew down the shining Pacific Coast to San Fran- 
cisco. There, where the great Golden Gate looks toward the East, I 
spoke about foreign policy. I said that the question of peace was the 
great unfinished business of our generation. I said that our genera- 
tion can meet that challenge— if we understand the enormity of the 

I believe peace is possible, if we but have the will, the boldness 
and the patience to conquer it. I believe that we have. I believe this 
is a time for greatness, and that our nation is capable of greatness. 

Then I had a wonderful day whistle-stopping through the Cen- 
tral Valley of California. And yesterday I spoke twice in Los Angeles. 
First I had some things to say about corruption. 

I said that the people were getting tired of the indiscriminate 
abuse of our public servants. There have been thieves and scoun- 
drels, men who have betrayed their trust. I say that such men must 
be identified and punished without mercy. And a good many of 
them have been detected and exposed— by Democrats. 

Among the exposers, I need only mention such names as Estes 
Kefauver, Paul Douglas, Bill Fulbright, Stuart Symington, Cecil King, 
Frank Chelf and many others. 

In fact, I took Steve Mitchell, who as counsel for the Chelf Com- 
mittee has been conducting such a brilliant investigation of the 
Department of Justice, and nominated him for Chairman of the 
Democratic National Committee. 

In the evening at Los Angeles I talked about the fact that some- 
times we get so mired down in the problems of today that we forget 
about the possibilities of tomorrow. 

I have talked a lot of blood, sweat and tears during this cam- 
paign; and I propose to continue talking it, because I do not believe 
that this is a safe or simple world. But I think too that we must 
never forget that we are on the edge of a new scientific and techno- 
logical age— an age which promises fabulous abundance for a people 
worthy of it. 

We Democrats are not afraid of the challenge of tomorrow. We 
are the party of faith— faith in America, faith in democracy, faith in 
freedom. We will let the Republicans continue to deal in moans, 
groans and lamentations— to say that the American way of life is weak, 
fragile and on the verge of extinction. They are the party of fear. And 


this contest between faith and fear will decide the future of our 

While I have been moving around, I notice that my distinguished 
opponent has been active too. The other night in Indianapolis the 
General gave a chalk talk on team play in basketball and politics. In 
the course of his talk he made the following admission: "The over- 
whelming majority of Federal employees (he said) are among our 
most patriotic and efficient citizens." 

Now I believe this. In fact I know it— and I think that most peo- 
ple in this country know it, too. We are highly gratified to have the 
Republican candidate say it in public. 

But some Americans do not believe it. And some of the most 
conspicuous of those who spend day and night attacking the integrity 
of our public service are on the General's team. In fact, after last 
Tuesday some of them seem to have been promoted to his first team. 

One player to whom the General gave his Republican letter— his 
varsity "R"— last Tuesday is Senator William E. Jenner of Indiana. 
And, according to Senator Jenner, the list of unpatriotic Federal em- 
ployees is not only practically endless, but it is headed by the revered 
name of General George Marshall, our war-time commander and Gen- 
eral Eisenhower's superior officer. 

General Marshall, Senator Jenner said on the sheltered floor of 
the United States Senate, was a "living He" and not only willing but 
eager "to play the role of front man for traitors." 

Now I know something about basketball, too, and I know that 
you are not likely to get a good team unless the coach and the players 
are in agreement; and I am dead sure that this is true of team play 
in government because I've been Governor of one of the biggest 
states in the Union. 

The only conclusion I can draw, therefore, is either that the Gen- 
eral agrees with Senator Jenner— and this I still doubt— or that the 
Republican team isn't going to win many games this next few weeks. 
And this is the first time I have ever heard a party go into battle 
under the slogan: "Throw the rascals in." 

What it all gets back to, of course, is the simple and undisputable 
fact that there is no longer one Republican party. There are two Re- 
publican parties. 

It is an ancient political vehicle, held together by soft soap and 
hunger for government jobs, with front-seat drivers and back-seat 
drivers contradicting each other in a bedlam of voices shouting at 
the driver to "go right" and "go left" at the same time. I don't envy 
the driver, and I don't think the American people will want to rid6 
on his bus. 

In recent weeks the junior Republican party seems about to be 
swallowed up by its big, bad older brother. I no longer hear the voices 


which sang with such sweet reasonableness for the General before 
the Chicago massacre. Someone seems to have muzzled them. Maybe 
they sounded too much like Democrats. 

And now we have the spectacle of the candidate who won the 
nomination seeking out his defeated rival and begging for a kind 
word. I'm beginning to wonder who won at Chicago, anyway, and 
who my opponent really is. Maybe the Republicans now have a six- 
star general! 

I think this is an appropriate subject to discuss in Phoenix. It 
occurred to me, while I was flying in this morning, that the clue to 
the future of the Republican party may well lie in the fabled phoenix, 
after which your city was named. 

The phoenix, as you all know, set fire to herself after a 500-year 
decline and then rose revitalized from her own ashes. Our opponents 
may be older than they think. They are aging, tired and querulous. 
I recommend that they build a fire under themselves— and move into 
this, the Twentieth Century. We would be glad to welcome them here. 

We Democrats like this century, belong to it and propose to 
realize its possibilities to the full. To assure the continuation of prog- 
ress in the United States, to move toward greater freedom and greater 
opportunity for our citizens, to fight for peace in the world, there is 
one broad and proven path— the Democratic party. 


September 27, 1952 

I want to talk to you tonight about the war in Korea. 

When I entered this campaign, I expressed my hope that Demo- 
crats and Republicans alike would regard this election year as a great 
opportunity to educate and elevate a people whose destiny is leader- 
ship. I hoped that both parties would talk sense to the American 

But I have been increasingly disturbed about the tone and spirit 
of the campaign. I know— from your letters and from conversations 
with many of you around the country— that you find this disturbing, 
too. The opposition is not talking sense to the American people— it is 
laying down a barrage of ugly, twisted, demagogic distortion. 

Last Monday night the General spoke in Cincinnati about Korea. 
He said that this was a solemn subject and that he was going to state 
the truth as he knew it, "the truth— plain and unvarnished." 

If only his speech had measured up to this introduction! And 
since he has tried, not once but several times, to make a vote-getting 
issue out of our ordeal, I shall speak on this subject and address my- 
self to the record. 

My opponent has made most serious charges as to why we are 
at war in Korea. The burden of this charge is "bungling"— a favorite 
epithet of those who neither tell us what they would have done in 
the past nor what they will do in the future. 

We are fighting in Korea, he declares, because the American 
Government grossly underestimated the Soviet threat; because the 
Government allowed America to become weak; because American 
weakness compelled us to withdraw our forces from Korea; because 
we abandoned China to the Communists; and, finally, because we 
announced to all the world that we had written off most of the Far 

Let's take a look at this campaign-year indictment and check it 
against the record. 

First, the General accuses the Government of having underesti- 
mated the Soviet threat. But what about the General himself? At the 


KOREA 113 

end of the war he was a professional soldier of great influence and 
prestige, to whom the American people listened with respect. What 
did he have to say about the Soviet threat? 

In the years after the war, the General himself saw "no reason" 
—as he later wrote— why the Russian system of government and West- 
ern democracy "could not live side by side in the world." In Novem- 
ber, 1945, he even told the House Military Affairs Committee: "Noth- 
ing guides Russian policy so much as a desire for friendship with the 
United States." 

I have no wish to blow any trumpets here. But in 1945, after 
conducting an economic survey of Italy for our Government, I warned 
that the obvious Russian interest in the Balkans and in the Eastern 
Mediterranean posed an eventual threat to Italy. 

And in March, 1946, I said: 

"We must forsake any hope that the Soviet Union is going to lie 
still and lick her awful wound. She's not. Peace treaties that reflect 
her legitimate demands, friendly governments on her frontiers and 
an effective United Nations organization should be sufficient security. 
But evidently they are not and she intends to advance her aims, many 
of them objectives of the Czars, to the utmost." 

My opponent's next point is the question of demobilization. We 
know how self-righteous the Republicans are on this question today. 
But what were they saying at the time? In the 1944 campaign the 
Republican candidate of that year accused President Roosevelt of 
deliberately delaying demobilization and promised that the Repub- 
licans would do it quicker. 

I believe he said that "Our members of the armed forces should 
be transported home and released at the earliest practical moment 
after victory." Although the General warned against too rapid de- 
mobilization, he later said— in September, 1946— that: "Frankly, I 
don't think demobilization was too fast." 

Demobilization did go too far and too fast. But it would have 
gone farther and faster if the Republicans had been in power— and it 
is nonsense to pretend otherwise. 

Next, take the question of the withdrawal of American forces 
from Korea. The General acts as if this were the result of some secret 
White House decision. I would call his attention to the fact that while 
he was Chief of Staff of the United States Army, the Chiefs of Staff 
advised that South Korea was of little strategic interest to the United 
States, and recommended withdrawal of the United States forces 
from the country. 

Next, my distinguished opponent has recently begun to parrot 
the charge of the Republican irresponsibles that the Administration 
abandoned China to the Communists. He did not talk this way once, 
but then he has changed in a good many respects of late. 

114 KOREA 

But he still must know in his heart, even if he does not admit it, 
that in the past six years nothing except the sending of an American 
expeditionary force to China could have prevented ultimate Com- 
munist victory. 

Distinguished American military men— including at least one Re- 
publican—have testified that the Chinese Nationalists did not lose for 
want of supplies or American support. Their armies were large and 
better equipped than the Communist armies. They had every physical 

Has my opponent forgotten the wise words of the most responsi- 
ble Republican of them all, Senator Vandenberg? Here is what Sena- 
tor Vandenberg said in December, 1948, on this subject of China: 

"The vital importance of saving China cannot be exaggerated. 
But there are limits to our resources and boundaries to our miracles. 
... I am forced to say that the Nationalist Government has failed to 
reform itself in a fashion calculated to deserve continued popular con- 
fidence over there or over here. . . . 

"If we made ourselves responsible for the army of the Nationalist 
Government, we would be in the China war for keeps and the re- 
sponsibility would be ours instead of hers. I am very sure that this 
would jeopardize our own national security beyond any possibility of 

So spoke Senator Vandenberg, and his view was shared by in- 
telligent and responsible men in both parties. Now who talked sense 
about China? Senator Vandenberg or the General? 

Then there is the question of "writing off" Korea. The General 
condemns the Secretary of State's definition of our defense perimeter 
in 1950. But the General fails to point out that this defense perimeter 
was a line developed by the military authorities themselves. 

Surely it is a gross and discreditable distortion to say that the 
Secretary of State took the lead in this matter. Twice in 1949 General 
MacArthur, then our top commander in the Pacific, defined our de- 
fense perimeter in the terms later used by the Secretary of State. It 
was on the recommendation of our military authorities that Korea 
and Formosa and mainland areas were not included in a direct mili- 
tary commitment. 

And I am frankly astonished that my great opponent stooped at 
Cincinnati last week to the practice of lifting remarks out of context. 
Why did he quote only a part of what the Secretaiy said? 

Why did he skip the Secretary's further pledge that, if there 
should be an attack on these countries, "the initial reliance must be 
on the people attacked to resist it and then upon the commitments of 
the entire civilized world under the Charter of the United Nations"? 

The United States Government thus clearly announced its deter- 
mination to seek United Nations' action against aggression. 

KOREA 115 

The true significance of the Secretary's remark, therefore, is that 
the military situation made it necessary for him to do what he could 
diplomatically to give some assurance of our interest in the security 
of the Republic of Korea. 

Why does the General not only skip this but distort the whole 
meaning of these developments? And how does he honestly square 
this campaign-time charge of writing off Korea with his own state- 
ment in July, 1950, that "when our Government guaranteed the Gov- 
ernment of South Korea, there was no recourse but to do what Presi- 
dent Truman said and did"? 

I deeply regret the necessity for this recital. I was prepared to 
ignore the political license and false charges of extremists and re- 
actionaries. But I cannot ignore them now when they are uttered by 
the Republican nominee himself, a man personally identified with 
and presumed to be intimately informed about the recent course of 
our foreign affairs. 

Nor do I list these mistakes in judgment and errors of prediction 
in order to lay any personal blame on the General. I would never have 
brought these things up had he not pointed the accusing finger. Many 
Americans of both parties made the same mistakes. Better we refrain 
from competing in denouncing each other in a scramble for votes, 
admit our common mistakes— and get on with our business. 

Let's talk sense. Let's admit that mistakes were made. America 
did demobilize too rapidly and too severely. America did allow the 
Russians to develop an undue superiority in conventional arms and in 
ground forces. Perhaps this country should have given a direct mili- 
tary guarantee to the Republic of Korea, and it might well have been 
wiser if American forces had not crossed the Thirty-eighth Parallel 
in the fall of 1950. 

There is another curious example of my opponent's uncertainty 
that is worth noting. 

At Abilene, Kansas, on June 5, shortly after his return to this coun- 
try, he said that: "There has been built up behind the Yalu River a 
very definite air strength that would make very dangerous any at- 
tempt to extend the war at this moment, until we have a bigger 
build-up of our own." 

Three months later the General says this: "I have always stood 
behind General MacArthur in bombing those bases on the Yalu from 
which fighter planes are coming." 

What kind of straddle is this? On one occasion he is against 
bombing across the river. And a little later he is for it. I confess I 
am bewildered. 

This seems to me to be too serious a matter for such wandering 

But enough about the past, and even about the past inconsisten- 

116 KOREA 

cies of my opponent. I have always agreed with Winston Churchill 
that if the present tries to sit in judgment on the past it will lose the 
future. The important thing is to draw the right lessons from the past 
and to get on with the job. 

One lesson which I had hoped that most of us had learned from 
the past is an understanding of what the present threat to our free- 
dom really is. I thought that my distinguished opponent of all Ameri- 
cans would agree that this threat is the threat of world communism. 

But it develops that he has now adopted the theory of Senator 
Taft, who unsmilingly states that the greatest threat to liberty today 
is the cost of our own Federal Government. 

It is surely fundamental to the making of wise policies to decide 
whether the threat to the United States is internal or external. Either 
the threat to our security is world communism or it is not. 

This is surely more than the differences of degree which, accord- 
ing to Senator Taft's statement following the peace conference on 
Morningside Heights, are all that separate him from the General on 
foreign-policy matters. 

It is not a question of degree whether we measure our defense by 
an arbitrary budget or measure our budget by the needs of survival. 

If we should follow out this theory that the threat is internal, we 
would undertake the deliberate and systematic weakening of our- 
selves and our allies. And such a policy of national weakness and 
international weakness can lead to a single result; that is, to invite the 
expansion of Soviet power. 

By adopting this theory, the Republican candidate has reversed 
the advice of Theodore Roosevelt to speak softly and carry a big stick. 
The new advice is to talk tough and carry a twig. 

You saw this policy proposed a year ago for Asia when some 
Republicans wanted it. It was proposed again for Europe by those 
isolationists who would reduce our aid to our allies and our own 
defense appropriations and simultaneously speak with "cold finality" 
to the Soviet Union. This is the policy of tougher words backed up 
with smaller armies. 

I wonder if the General realizes the full implications of the agreed 
statement issued by Senator Taft. Senator Taft has evidently re- 
assured him by saying that their differences in foreign policy are just 
differences of degree. 

Differences of degree, indeed! 

Is it a difference of degree to be for or against the North Atlantic 

Is it a difference of degree to blame the Korean war on Stalin or 
on our own President? 

Is it a difference of degree to be for or against the strengthen- 
ing of our allies? 

KOREA 117 

Such differences of degree may well turn out to be the difference 
between success and disaster— between peace and war. 

Tough talk about communism will not deter the Soviet Union 
from new adventures. The thing which will save the world from war 
is American strength, and real strength need not be loud or belliger- 
ent, nor is it just a matter of our national strength alone. It is equally 
the strength of the free world— the strength of the nations which 
stand between us and the Soviet Union. 

Strength is the road to peace. Weakness is the road to war. This 
is the simple truth of peace and war in our times. The Democratic 
party has been consistently the party of strength— and thus the party 
of peace. 

With equal consistency, the opposition has been the party of 
weakness— the party which persists in the dreary obsession that we 
must fear above all, not the Kremlin, but our own Government, and 
it gives evidence of pursuing, once in power, a policy of weakness 
which would demoralize the free world, embolden the Soviet Union to 
new military adventures, and, in the end, pull down the world into the 
rubble and chaos of a third world war. 

Let's talk sense to the American people. Peace is far more impor- 
tant than who wins this election. Whichever party wins, the Ameri- 
can people must be sure to win. Let us not place victory in a political 
campaign ahead of national interest, and let's talk sense about what 
we have gained by our determination, our expenditures and our valor 
in Korea. 

We have not merely said, we have proven, that communism can 
go no further unless it is willing to risk world war. 

We have proven to all the peoples of the Far East that commu- 
nism is not the wave of the future, that it can be stopped. 

We have helped to save the peoples of Indo-China from Com- 
munist conquest. 

We have smashed the threat to Japan through Korea and so have 
strengthened this friend and ally. 

We have discouraged the Chinese Communists from striking at 

We have mightily strengthened our defenses and all our defen- 
sive positions around the world. 

We have trained and equipped a large army of South Koreans 
who can assume a growing share of the defense of this country. 

We have blocked the road to Communist domination of the Far 
East and frustrated the creation of a position of power which would 
have threatened the whole world. 

We have asserted, and we shall maintain it, that whenever Com- 
munist soldiers choose freedom after falling into our hands, they are 

118 KOREA 

We have kept faith with our solemn obligations. 

These are the values won by the fidelity and prowess and the 
sacrifices of young men and women who serve their country. We have 
lost many of our beloved sons. All Americans share in the bereave- 
ment of so many mothers and fathers, of wives and sweethearts. The 
burden lies heavily on us all. We pray God that the sacrifices and the 
sorrows will soon end. 

I would say one thing more about the great debate over our 
foreign policy. 

My opponents say the threat to our liberty comes from within. 

I say that the threat comes from without— and I offer the fate of 
the enslaved peoples of the world as my evidence. 

My opponents say that America cannot afford to be strong. 

I say that America cannot afford to be weak. 

I promise no easy solutions, no relief from burdens and anxieties, 
for to do this would be not only dishonest, it would be to attack the 
foundations of our greatness. 

I can offer something infinitely better: an opportunity to work 
and sacrifice that freedom may flourish. For, as William James truly 
said, "When we touch our own upper limit and live in our own high- 
est center of energy, we may call ourselves saved." 

I call upon America to reject the new isolationism and to surpass 
her own glorious achievements. Then we may with God's help de- 
serve to call ourselves the sons of our fathers. 

Questions and Answers 


September 8, 1952 

Q: Do you favor the creation of a T. V. A.-type authority in the Colum- 
bia River Basin— if not, what kind of administration? 

A: I do feel that the problem of machinery of administration isn't 
one that can be readily settled by any generalizations or any firm fixed 
or repeated patterns. What might be desirable in one section of the 
country might be ineffective elsewhere. I wouldn't say for a moment 
that T. V. A. was the solution for the Columbia River problem. 

Q: Do you approve of ostracism of Democrats because they were 
active for Kefauver or other candidates during the pre-convention 

A : Of course not. I certainly know that we have no Democrats to 
spare in Oregon. They will not be ostracized. You will remember that 
when my name was put on the Oregon primary ballot against my will, 
I asked the Oregon voters not to vote for me but to support Kefauver. 
They certainly voted according to my request in the primary. Now if I 
ask them to vote for me in the November election, I hope they will be 
just as obedient. 

Q : Is it your opinion that either political party can give assurances 
of liberation to the captive peoples behind the Iron Curtain within any 
foreseeable period? 

A: I shall answer that question in one syllable— No. It is a very 
difficult question to present to me. I should like to talk about it for a hall 
an hour. The inference that a war of liberation— to liberate the captive 
populations behind the Iron Curtain— seems to me one of the most mis- 
chievous ideas that has been injected into this campaign. Mischievous 
not only in the sense of misleading, but in the sense of positive danger 
to the people attempting to be liberated. 

Q : Do you favor a bipartisan cabinet in the event the international 
situation should worsen? 

A: Well, I will say this. I think the use of coalition government or 
bipartisan cabinet appointments, that sort of thing, should depend upon 
the competence and availability of personnel rather than on the device 
to bring about a greater degree of unity in this country politically. 



Certainly in the event of danger, in the event of an emergency, in 
the event of war, it should be possible for our people to unite in their 
common interest without making a factor that they are essentially 
political in their character. 

Q: Assuming a settlement of the armed struggle in Korea, should 
the United States recognize the People's Republic of China as the de 
facto government? 

A: It would seem to me that there would be very great opposition 
to that recognition. On the other hand, I point out to you that once 
we had resolved our difficulties with our enemies in this and previous 
wars, notably in the case of Italy, we recognized them rapidly. It is im- 
possible for me to speculate on this question— I think any question— in 
view of the uncertainty of the circumstances of the struggle at hand, or 
the recognition as to the de facto government to be presented to us. 

Q: Should U. N. give that government the permanent seat allotted 
to China on the Security Council? 

A: I don't think the time will ever come when any country will 
shoot its way into the United Nations. That the seat should remain 
vacant and not occupied by a government no longer in existence would 
be unlikely. 

Q: What disposition should be made of the status of Formosa? 

A: We are pretty much agreed politically now that it is part of 
our defense perimeter in the Pacific and should stay under our jurisdic- 
tion, or the jurisdiction of the United Nations or under someone we 
should designate. 

Q: How would you move to bring our trade with other nations 
into balance, thus making it possible to reduce or end financial aid to 

A: Personally, this is one of the most difficult, most practical and 
most pressing problems this country will comprehend. Today with the 
major effort for military production we are undergoing now, we are 
going to have to find some substitute for dollars abroad. That substitute 
will be creating markets here and abroad, how I don't know. They have 
lost the east-and-west trade by the Iron Curtain, which we insist on 
keeping shut. To refuse to trade east and west normal routes— this 
comes very close to putting a finger on the most perplexing problem 
facing us in the next few years. 

The Control of Inflation 


Fifth Regiment Armory 

September 23, 1952 

Senator O'Conor, Mayor D'Alesandro, distinguished guests, my friends 
of Maryland: 

I am deeply grateful to you, Senator, for your kind and generous intro- 
duction, and I am reminded by the presence here this evening of Sena- 
tor O'Conor that the Republicans voted in committee 5 to 1 against 
the bill proposed by Herbert Hoover's Commission and recommended 
by President Truman to reorganize the Bureau of Internal Revenue. 

And I am as a citizen deeply grateful to you, Senator O'Conor, for 
the job that you did on the floor of the United States Senate to insure 
the passage of that bill. 

And yet it's the Republicans who say they want to put everything 
right in Washington. 

Now, I find myself tonight tempted— tempted to stray from a path 
I have followed now for more than a month. 

Day after day, and night after night, I have tried to talk about 
public questions: international policy, farm policy, labor policy, civil 
rights, atomic energy and many others. 

This road has led me through some twenty states from coast to 
coast. It has been lined with great numbers of people, friendly people, 
people who nod encouragingly when you try to talk to them intelli- 
gently and from the shoulder. 

But, strangely enough, my friends, this road has been a lonely 
road because I never meet anybody coming the other way. 

My temptation tonight is to talk not about more issues but about 
this road itself, about our campaign, how it is going, and how high 
spirits are. For I know now, with the beat of my heart no less than 
with the certainty of my mind, that this is going to be another vic- 
torious year for those of us who believe in the positive principles of 
the Democratic party. 

We know now that we face, in the party of the opposition, a sadly 
divided command. The G. O. P. elephant has two heads nowadays. 
And I can't tell from day to day who's driving the poor beast, whether 
Senator Taft or the General. 



And the sad thing is that the poor beast doesn't know itself. But 
as Americans first and political partisans second we find no satisfaction 
in this state of affairs in a year when our country faces choices of 
leaders, choices of attitudes, choices of policies of such enormous con- 

Instead of the confident, positive purpose there is indecision, 
uncertainty and compromise in an effort to reconcile the irrecon- 

The internationalists and the isolationists, the liberals and the re- 
actionaries—and the end product is loud denunciation, epithet and 
abuse of Democrats, which seems to be about the only thing that they 
can agree upon. But I say to you that that will lift no hearts, and that 
will feed no hungry minds and that will win no elections. 

And so, it seems to me, that each day their statements of position 
move in like a new fog bank from a troubled sea. I doubt if America 
will entrust its future, its hopes, to the masters of a house divided 
against itself— to men so divided in their own thoughts that they can- 
not, or will not tell us where their party stands on America's pressing 

And about the only place they appear to stand is squarely on the 
Democratic policies. Frankly, the thing is getting a little embarrassing 
as there's hardly room for the Democrats on the Democratic platform 
any more. 

But at the same time they say the authors and the executors of 
Democratic politics are rogues and rascals, or timid and stupid men 
who should be thrown out and promptly replaced by the Republicans 
who fought all of these very same programs. I don't get it. 

But I shall yield no further to the temptation of indignation. There 
are still issues, questions, public questions of the utmost import, to be 
faced. I try as best I can from city to city to discuss them one by one 
and to express my views forthrightly. Not confident that I am always 
right, or even wise, but certain that you are entitled to know my views 
right or wrong. 

And tonight, here in Baltimore, I want to discuss another and a 
very important issue— inflation. In plainer terms it is the issue of 
whether we are going to be able to pay our grocery bill and keep up 
with the mortgage or the rent on the house. 

Whether you have a boy of draft age or one in Korea the problem 
of peace is first in your mind and in your heart. But this problem of 
prices is another ominous cloud which hangs heavy on our thoughts. 
As far as the Government is concerned it must give both problems top 

I want to talk particularly to whoever in your family does the 
shopping and keeps the budget. I'm thinking especially, too, of those 
family budgets where only one of the two ends ever move because all 


of the income is from savings or pensions. White-collar workers, school 
teachers, also face a special problem here. 

Somehow this question always recalls to me the story of the 
harassed young husband who was having a devilish time making both 
ends meet. And he used to say that every time he was about to make 
both ends meet, his wife moved the ends. 

If our question is what we are going to do about inflation, we 
must first be sure we understand the causes of it. Those who let their 
policies impeach their honesty tell you that inflation is the product of 
governmental waste and mismanagement. Whether this is legitimate 
politics I shall not presume to say. 

But as an explanation of the causes of inflation, it is poppycock. 
It's like a husband coming home, coming into the kitchen, and seeing 
one potato peeling that is too thick and exploding that now he knows 
why his wife can't make both ends meet. I'm for the Government peel- 
ing its potatoes with a sharp knife and a miserly eye. Now I've done 
some sharp and miserly peeling myself in Illinois. But I'm not going 
to fool myself or you that meeting a nation's inflation problem is that 
simple. Prescribing a patent medicine with a good taste for a growth 
which may become malignant is dangerous practice. And this is the 
kind of politics which assumes the people are fools and places party 
victory above national welfare. I shall do neither. 

The cause of inflation can, I believe, be made plain. Let's stay in 
the kitchen a moment. It is as though we were making bread and 
while we answered the phone a malicious neighbor dumped a whole 
cup of yeast into the bowl. That's the inflation story. In fact that is 

We have inflation today, not disastrous, but serious because the 
gods of war, working through their agents in the Kremlin, have 
dumped a barrel of yeast into the bread of our economy. If they have 
not, and the General seemed to disagree with me on that in Cincinnati 
last night, perhaps he will tell us what and who has caused the large 
defense expenditures. In my innocence I thought all the time that it 
was the Communist threat to peace. 

American industry has been suddenly called upon to make tens of 
billions of dollars' worth of guns and planes and tanks and bombs. This 
is the yeast which causes inflation. 

These unexpected demands mean that the prices of steel, alumi- 
num, machine tools and so on and so on as well as of labor go up, 
unless something is done about it, because the supply of these things 
is limited. Those who have them to sell can demand more for them 
because the Government must have the end products. The supply of 
consumer goods is diminished because factories which make rollei 
skates are now making gun assemblies. 

The other side of this picture is that those who buy have more to 


buy with and will therefore pay higher prices. The manufacturers have 
orders for guns, so they can pay higher prices for steel and for labor. 
Consumers, you and I, have had increases in our incomes, so we will 
pay more for roller skates if we can find them. 

Now if this then is our problem, what can we do about it? Do we 
just have to sit back and let prices and wages keep chasing each other 
up and up? 

If I sense rightly the mood of people today they are ready to say: 
"We want these increases to stop— and we mean business." 

And if we do mean business, I say that we can get results. 

Telling you what I have in mind is a little dull— for I haven't any 
trick ideas up my sleeve. This job takes courage and it takes common 
sense. It has to be a partnership job with the people and the Govern- 
ment working together. 

Let's not talk in generalities. It seems to me there are four things 
the Government has to do. 

First, there is the necessity of the Government's cutting its non- 
essential expenditures to the bare bones of safety. It is the biggest 
spending agency in the country and every dollar it spends adds to the 
inflationary pressure. It must spend every penny as though it were a 
$5 bill; and it must not spend a single penny for anything that is not 
needed right now. 

And this is going to mean a strict auditing of every payroll in the 
Government and slashing every piece of administrative fat. I've been 
through this process in Illinois and I know what it means and how 
difficult it is. 

This is going to mean no pork-barreling while our economy is in 
its present condition. If your principal interest in life is getting a new 
federally financed boondoggle for your state you had better vote for 
somebody else. 

And that, my friends, is no idle threat because I've vetoed more 
appropriations than any Governor in the history of Illinois and I kind 
of like the exercise. 

Perhaps it's a little unfairness in there, but of course I've always 
suffered from a Republican Legislature. 

We will have to make most of our savings in the military depart- 
ments. About 85 cents out of every dollar that the Government spends 
goes now for paying the costs of past wars and of preventing another 
one. I know one can't buv national security at a bargain counter. And 
I emphatically reject the idea that national security must be adjusted 
to a tax ceiling rather than taxes to national security. 

For this is to say that we propose to continue free and independ- 
ent if it doesn't cost too much. And I don't believe either in the theory 
that military budgets are sacred and untouchable. 

In short, I warn you that the tightest- fisted Government economy 


conceivable won't meet this problem of inflation while rearmament is 
unfinished. Despite the Republicans, our budget is determined more 
by the Russians than by the "bureaucrats." And I say to you that de- 
spite the Republicans we are going to survive even with sacrifice rather 
than perish cheap. 

So it seems to me that the next thing that the Government has to 
do is to keep itself just as close as possible to a pay-as-you-go tax 
standard. When we pay for these guns by borrowing money we con- 
tribute to inflation. When we collect taxes to pay for them we help 
stop inflation. 

I don't like taxes. I doubt if anybody does. I shall do everything I 
can to reduce them. But I shall make no promises that I know I cannot 

We must spend to be safe and taxes are better than inflation. I 
shall not favor reducing taxes until we are getting in a dollar to cover 
every dollar we spend. And I'll bank on the American people, I'll bank 
on them even in an election year to understand straight talk and the 
need for a balanced budget in this country. 

Now in the last six years since the end of World War II financing, 
the Government's net receipts have been $4,000,000,000 more than its 
expenditures. We have reduced the Government debt by $11,000,- 
000,000. No man in the United States has worked harder for a pay-as- 
you-go policy than President Truman, or received, I think, less credit. 
The Republicans in Congress have, on the other hand, fought this 
pay-as-you-go program every inch of the way. 

In 1951, for example, the Republicans in the House of Representa- 
tives voted 3 to 1 against raising more money to pay our current war 
production bills. These were votes for inflation, for they meant borrow- 
ing to pay these bills. It is hypocrisy for these men to present them- 
selves now as the defenders, or even the friends, of your dollar. 

The third thing that the Government must do is to prevent exces- 
sive private borrowing, for that can be just as inflationary as excessive 
Government borrowing. Some buying on credit is all right— like buy- 
ing a house and paying on the mortgage instead of for rent. 

Some of it is necessary to keep business active. But some of it can 
go much too far. I shall hope to be able to work with the Congress 
to prepare a set of restraints upon excessive private credit which will 
keep the money market on an even, non-inflationary, keel. 

And finally, there is the matter of direct controls— on prices, wages, 
rents. I don't like them, I don't think many people do like controls. 
But if the alternative is a steady rise in our food, clothing, rent and 
other living costs, then we must have them. 

Yet, I'm convinced from what I know of the situation, and I make 
no pretense whatever of being an economist, that these laws are oper- 
ating as essential brakes upon an economy which would otherwise get 


out of hand. I shall favor retaining the controls we now have until 
prices stop going up. And if they don't stop before January 1, I think 
the situation should be re-examined and Congress should take further 
steps to stop it. 

Now this will mean, if it has to come, tighter wage controls as 
well as tighter price controls. I don't know whether the wage and 
price increases which came out of the steel case this year were re- 
quired by what had happened elsewhere in the economy or not. But 
I do know that many people see in that case a further impetus to 

It brings into sharp focus the question of whether the price and 
wage loopholes aren't becoming bigger than we can afford. We just 
can't be either pulled or pushed any further into the twisting cyclone 
of inflation. I have, however, a deep belief in a free economy. 

I believe in free men, free markets, freedom, if you please, 
to succeed or to fail. And I look forward anxiously to the time 
when these casts on our economy— these price, rent, wage controls- 
can come off. 

I cannot tell you when that will be, for I can only guess as to the 
Kremlin's future course of conduct or of misconduct. I can only say 
that I believe, with the modern doctors, that a healthy, but tempo- 
rarily fractured economy, like a healthy patient, should get out of bed 
and get active again as quickly as possible. 

Now my friends, I wish I could tell you how my position on this 
question differs from my opponent. But I can't. I don't know. He has, 
however, permitted the astonishing statement to be made for him that 
he agrees with Senator Taft on all matters of domestic policy. And 
Senator Taft's record as a leader of the inflationary shock troops in 
Congress is clearly written. 

The great majority of Republicans in Congress voted to end rent 
control. They voted, too, to end the controls on steel, copper, alumi- 
num and other vital defense production materials. Four times a ma- 
jority of the Republicans in both the Senate and the House voted to 
end controls on all things consumers buy. 

This is the Republican position on inflation. 

This is the record the Republican candidate has bought. It is a 
record the nation refused to buy when it was made. It is a record the 
Republican party refused to buy in Chicago last July. The General, 
in his present extremities, may have to accept this kind of counterfeit. 
But the American people won't do it. 

We offer you, in place of this record, a four-point program of 
strict Government economy, of a tax program kept as nearly as possible 
on a pay-as-you-go basis, of restraints on excessive private credit, and 
of direct price, wage and rent controls as temporary pontoon bridges 
between abnormal and normal times. 


I think such a program, supported in good faith by both the Con- 
gress and the executive, can stop inflation without stopping the 
healthy, normal growth of our economy. 

The people must, however, do their part of this job. If this system 
of ours works as well as you and I think it does, the battle against in- 
flation will be finally won, not in the bureaus of Government, but in 
the fields, in the factories, in the union halls, in the stores and in the 
homes of America. 

The ultimate defense against high prices is more production, more 
production of food and houses and steel, and of everything we buy. 
And we are building that defense every day. We have raised our food 
production to half again what it was twenty years ago. We have tripled 
our output of goods and services of all kinds. 

Our production capacity today has been so increased that when 
our defense production levels out, we can turn to a full production of 
consumer goods which will provide the fullest defense against infla- 
tion. And we will use that production, too, all of it. 

In the meanwhile, we all face questions which we can, as indi- 
viduals, answer either for or against inflation. 

This is true of the directors of a manufacturing company when 
they vote on a proposal to expand their plant's capacity. 

It is true of the members of a labor union when they vote on 
whether to demand a wage increase or on what it is to be. 

It is true of the storekeeper when he is deciding whether to go 
through his shelves and mark up his prices. 

It is true of the housewife as she debates in her mind whether to 
save or spend what is left from last week's pay envelope. 

It is a dangerously wrong feeling that what individual people do 
on points such as these won't matter. America's decisions are made this 
way— in millions of little pieces. 

There is one other thing for us to do as individuals. Inflation 
feeds on fear of inflation. We know what scare-buying does. The pres- 
ent situation demands our serious attention, but it warrants no panic 
or alarm. Prices are up. But so are wages and so are profits. So long 
as we are living better than we ever did before, inflation has not 
reached our vitals. 

We must remain on our guard. What this job takes is just com- 
mon sense, calmness, and courage. 

I have approached this subject with you tonight as straightfor- 
wardly and as seriously as I know how. Inflation will not be driven 
out by campaign orators flapping their arms at it like scarecrows. 

I am convinced in my own mind, and I think you are in yours, 
that when the Republican leaders, after sabotaging every anti-infla- 
tionary measure in Congress during the past two years, reach out this 
fall to put a consoling arm around the American housewife, and 


whisper in her ear that this is all somebody else's fault, that won't de- 
ceive her. 

Most of us are people of small or at least modest incomes. We 
could be hurt badly, a lot of us, by just a very little more inflation. Our 
interest in stopping rising prices is as real as tomorrow night's supper 
and new overcoats for the children this winter. We are not fooling 
and we are not going to be fooled. 

The time has come for us to draw a line and say to the forces of 
inflation "You cannot cross that line." With your help I would like to 
do just that. 

... About Adlai Stev 



3 0112 072581710 

"I don't believe the Democratic party has ever had a candidate better qualified to be 
President of the United States than we have this year in Adlai Stevenson of Illinois/' 


"Adlai Stevenson has kept in close touch with the United Nations and served on the 
United States delegation several times. As a result, Governor Stevenson has a better 
world understanding than almost any other man in the country." 


"Governor Stevenson is one of the best- informed men on the United Nations in the 
country, a first-rate man in every respect.' RALPH BUNCHE 

"Stevenson promises to restore to the American tradition the finest element of genuine 
liberalism." COMMONWEAL MAGAZINE, the National Catholic Weekly 

"Stevenson is committed to retaining all the advantages which farmers have gained 
during the last twenty years and to test and adopt new programs to enable farmers to 
further their progress." 

MURRAY B. LINCOLN, President, Farm Bureau Insurance Companies 

"Adlai Stevenson has set a new standard for statesmanship, literacy and common sense 
in his advocacy of the principles of democracy in this country and throughout the world." 


"Governor Stevenson is a personal friend in whom I have complete confidence. He is a 
great Governor— a great and patriotic American and I believe he will be a great President 
of the United States." JOHN S. BATTLE, Governor of Virginia 

"Anybody can talk about corruption, but the man we need as President of the United 
States is a man who knows how to do something about it. Adlai Stevenson has shown 
that he can clean out corruption." ESTES KEFAUVER, Senator from Tennessee 

"The interest of peace can best be served by the election of Governor Stevenson." 


"I regard Adlai Stevenson as both a great character and outstanding statesman of the 
type this nation needs. His speeches are honest-to-goodness confrontations of our real 

'The forthright and unequivocal nature of Governor Stevenson's whole campaign has 
convinced me that, if elected, he will give our country and the entire free world that 
moral leadership so desperatel) needed in these critical times."" FRANK ALTSCHUL 

Idditional copies of this book may be obtained immediately from any bookseller or from 
Random House, Inc., 457 Madison Irenue, New York 22, New York, at $1.00 a copy.